The Physician Peer Review Nova Scotia (PPR-NS) program engages physicians in a process of practice assessment rooted in quality improvement, to enhance competence and ensure safe medical care. The program is mandated by the Medical Act and is in keeping with the culture of continuous learning central to medicine.
Upon the declaration of a state of emergency due to COVID-19, we pressed pause on the initiation of peer reviews. Physicians were focused on the pandemic response. Once the province and the profession found its feet, our program returned to its regular hum, as many physicians reported they had the time and appetite to engage in peer review. The program restarted, eventually completing around 80% of our previous year’s target.
The Physician Peer Review Nova Scotia (PPR-NS) program engages physicians in a process of practice assessment rooted in quality improvement, to enhance competence and ensure safe medical care.
Reviews undertaken Remotely
The implementation of a web-based portal allowed for secure digital access to medical records. In large part, remote access to a physician’s electronic medical records (EMR) allowed peer reviewers to conduct their assessments from their local offices. The reviews were of the same rigor and quality, but with a significantly lighter administrative load on the physician and assessor.
Ultimately, our work in peer review for 2020 was a result of the dedication of our roster of peer reviewers. These dedicated physicians continually demonstrate a high level of engagement, giving to the profession to help colleagues improve. We are extremely grateful for their contributions.