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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Policies and practices related to the role of board certification and recertification of pediatricians in hospital privileging.

Freed GL, Uren RL, Hudson EJ, et al. JAMA. 2006;295:905-12.

The investigators surveyed 200 hospitals and discovered a wide range of policies and practices with respect to requirements for board certification in obtaining or maintaining hospital privileges. Nearly 75% of hospitals carried no requirement for certification at initial privileging, though 70% did require it in the future. The authors discuss the lack of standardization in this process, the current views on recertification as a mechanism to ensure standards for physicians, and how these systems are certain to be pressured by an ongoing emphasis on patient safety and quality. Accompanying the article is an editorial (link below) that discusses the broader certification issue, calling for greater collaboration among hospitals, health plans, and physicians to improve quality by using clinical data as part of the certification process. A past related study discussed the role of board certification and its relation to the quality movement.