Tip: Consider including APPs on medical staff committees
Committees such as medical executive, credentials, and peer review have traditionally been composed of physician members and administrative representatives. However, your facility may choose to extend committee membership to non-physician practitioners. The following are some questions that should factor into this decision:
- Has your facility expanded its definition of medical staff to include advanced practitice professionals (APP)?
- What do your bylaws, rules and regulations, and other policies say regarding committee structure and membership? Have these policies been reviewed recently?
- Do your state’s peer review statutes include the coverage of APPs?
- Is the committee in question a general hospital committee, or a medical staff committee that requires peer review protection?
- If you include APPs in your meetings, will they be voting members or representatives without a vote?
Consult with your legal counsel before making any change in medical staff structure to ensure that proper protection is in place and to promote full adherence to state regulations.
If APPs assume larger roles at your facility, committees will likely be improved—not hindered—by their perspective. You may also consider developing a dedicated APP committee with various champions who keep a finger on the national pulse of their profession and identify new ways that they can contribute to the facility’s overarching goals. Such responsibilities empower APPs to bring their specific—and increasingly specialized—knowledge to the table, and to add their voice to pivotal healthcare conversations.