Peer Messengers Help Docs Get Back On Track
A program at VUMC is making significant inroads in helping physicians turn around their practices or behaviors after patients complain about them, either because of the doctors' actions or their clinical work.
If you are having trouble with your patients or not cutting it in clinical matters, you may get a visit from a "peer messenger." Often the news they bring isn't great.
And that's the idea.
Often, you don't have a clue you aren't passing muster, but the hospital has the data that shows you are not doing as well as you think. To help physicians get on track, The Center for Professional and Patient Advocacy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville several years ago designed the "peer messengers" program.
The point is to keep physicians on track after patients complain about them, either because of the doctors' actions or their clinical work, before they become targeted for lawsuits. And the plan involves fellow physicians helping them. The messengers are physicians who you may see down the hall, in the cafeteria, or at board meetings.