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Physician Peer Review

Physician Practice Improvement System

In the practice of medicine, there is a professional expectation that physicians seek out and respond to feedback. It is a component of life-long learning, fundamental to continuous quality improvement.

The Medical Act requires the College to conduct a program of physician assessment to promote continuous quality improvement within the profession.

For feedback to be embraced, it has to be meaningful. For feedback to be meaningful, it has to be focused and relevant. This is the philosophy upon which the College’s Physician Peer Review – Nova Scotia (PPR-NS) program has been built. This program includes direct assessment of:

  • practice processes;
  • standards of care; and
  • documentation in practice.

The College’s Physician Peer Review Nova Scotia (PPR-NS) program is designed to proactively support physicians to improve their practice and patient outcomes. Peer and practice assessment is a requirement of the Medical Act.

Peer Review Program

The PPR-NS is a collegial program developed with extensive physician participation incorporating best practices in physician assessment. The program blends traditional elements of peer review with an innovative approach to quality improvement.

Trained peer reviewers help physicians identify opportunities and match them with the right resources to enhance their practice.

One of the main benefits of the peer review process is that it is really focused on supporting our physicians. It is not a punitive process, but rather a reflective exercise focused on highlighting and validating the positive aspects of a clinician’s practice. We are all so caught up in the demands of our everyday practice. This program provides physicians with an important opportunity to learn from a guided approach of reflection in conjunction with their clinical practice. This is a meaningful process for all involved.

– Dr. Roop Conyers, Peer Reviewer

Physician Peer Review Nova Scotia was launched in 2017 with Family Medicine.

Beginning in 2021, PPR-NS will be launched for other specialties as physicians within each specialty complete the peer review training. This training is specific to each field of medical practice.

A standard peer review includes:

  • A site visit, assessing and providing feedback on a physician’s practice facility, processes and procedures, documentation and patient care.
  • A discussion of the various risk and supportive factors, unique in profile to each physician’s practice, which may influence long term quality.
  • A review of the physician’s approach to practice improvement, introducing strategies for linking professional development to potential gaps in practice.