Written by: Diana Hembree

Shasta Community Health Center urgently needed better clinical peer reviews.

Health care works best when doctors look after each other. At Shasta Community Health Center, administrators wanted to promote good practices by having physicians review each other’s medical notes and charts. All doctors at the clinic — full-time, part-time, fellows, “moonlighters,” and specialists — were supposed to review one or more charts each week. The results were to be shared with both the doctor being reviewed and his or her medical directors, with the goal of improving patient care and complying with oversight agencies. The catch? Only about half of the projected reviews were getting done, and many that were done were of dubious value.