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Peer evaluation and feedback for invasive medical procedures: a systematic review.

Thai T, Louden DKN, Adamson R, Dominitz JA, Doll JA. Peer evaluation and feedback for invasive medical procedures: a systematic review. BMC medical education. 2022 Jul 29; 22(1):581.

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BACKGROUND: There is significant variability in the performance and outcomes of invasive medical procedures such as percutaneous coronary intervention, endoscopy, and bronchoscopy. Peer evaluation is a common mechanism for assessment of clinician performance and care quality, and may be ideally suited for the evaluation of medical procedures. We therefore sought to perform a systematic review to identify and characterize peer evaluation tools for practicing clinicians, assess evidence supporting the validity of peer evaluation, and describe best practices of peer evaluation programs across multiple invasive medical procedures. METHODS: A systematic search of Medline and Embase (through September 7, 2021) was conducted to identify studies of peer evaluation and feedback relating to procedures in the field of internal medicine and related subspecialties. The methodological quality of the studies was assessed. Data were extracted on peer evaluation methods, feedback structures, and the validity and reproducibility of peer evaluations, including inter-observer agreement and associations with other quality measures when available. RESULTS: Of 2,135 retrieved references, 32 studies met inclusion criteria. Of these, 21 were from the field of gastroenterology, 5 from cardiology, 3 from pulmonology, and 3 from interventional radiology. Overall, 22 studies described the development or testing of peer scoring systems and 18 reported inter-observer agreement, which was good or excellent in all but 2 studies. Only 4 studies, all from gastroenterology, tested the association of scoring systems with other quality measures, and no studies tested the impact of peer evaluation on patient outcomes. Best practices included standardized scoring systems, prospective criteria for case selection, and collaborative and non-judgmental review. CONCLUSIONS: Peer evaluation of invasive medical procedures is feasible and generally demonstrates good or excellent inter-observer agreement when performed with structured tools. Our review identifies common elements of successful interventions across specialties. However, there is limited evidence that peer-evaluated performance is linked to other quality measures or that feedback to clinicians improves patient care or outcomes. Additional research is needed to develop and test peer evaluation and feedback interventions.

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