Understand what the NPDB considers an investigation
Understanding what the NPDB considers an investigation is very important because several of the updates clarify reporting requirements when a practitioner resigns while under investigation. How does the NPDB describe investigations?
John Synowicki, a shareholder with Polsinelli PC in Dallas: The NPDB defines investigation broadly to include any professional review that focuses on one practitioner for competency or conduct concerns. If a medical staff begins asking questions or seeking information outside of its routine process, then the NPDB would likely say that an investigation has begun. If a physician resigns or takes a leave of absence during an investigation, it is reportable.
To be clear, routine peer review actions that impact all practitioners are not considered investigations. For example, if a hospital requires all practitioners who come on staff to be proctored for their first five or 10 cases, that proctoring is routine peer review. It is not considered an investigation because it is not the result of a competence or conduct concern. If a physician resigns or takes a leave of absence during routine peer review, it is not reportable.
Source: News & Analysis