For example, evaluating how head and neck surgeons at different medical institutions follow accepted guidelines for oral cavity cancer management and then comparing oneself to those peers can inform a practitioner of areas for practice improvement, said Dr. Eisele. “This type of assessment is basically the mechanism by which you get feedback,” he added. “You compare yourself to others and then you actively make changes to practice to better conform to guidelines and best practices.”
Explore This IssueSeptember 2017
Dr. Eisele stressed that any kind of peer comparison methods in otolaryngology that are incorporated into the MOC would be beneficial to all otolaryngologists. “This process will be designed so it is not an onerous time commitment, and it will be fairly painless once the process is initiated,” he said. “We don’t want this to be a burden for our diplomates; we want it to enhance their practice in medicine, with better outcomes and more healthy patients. All physicians want to improve patient care, and we expect that this will help.”
That’s a goal echoed by Dr. Doctor. “We are trying to move toward an understanding of what practices are harmful or provide low-value care,” he said. “If they are harmful or not valuable for patients, we shouldn’t do them.”
Cheryl Alkon is a freelance medical writer based in Massachusetts.