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February 16, 2000

The National Practitioner Data Bank and the Quality of Peer Review

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(7):886-887. doi:10.1001/jama.283.7.882

To the Editor: Dr Brennan1 advocates anonymous reporting of events that may harm patients. As a patient, I support that proposal because I sense that physicians now believe they have a professional duty to not report.

Even with an anonymous confidential reporting mechanism, full reporting may be an impractical ideal. Nevertheless, the resulting incomplete database of errors may be adequate to expose root causes of system defects so that effective solutions can be defined. Of course, solutions might not be implemented without sufficient available evidence of serious defects. Therefore, it is important—through various forms of reporting—to strive for a robust evidentiary base.

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