4 key notes on peer references for healthcare facilities: What happens when a similar practitioner isn't on staff?

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The Joint Commission defined credentialing and privileging for physicians when it comes to peer references when there isn't a similar practitioner on staff.

Here are four key notes:

1. The Joint Commission defines "peer" as someone in the same discipline. Among nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychologist or social workers, someone from the same discipline and organization should obtain a reference.

2. The "peer" providing the reference needs to be familiar with the individual's performance before making the reference.

3. The reference can come from within or outside of the organization.

4. A physician or DO with equal qualifications and familiar with the new practitioner's performance can provide the reference if there aren't other options. For example, an anesthesiologist could provide a reference for nurse anesthetists.

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