Continuous Query Through the National Pratitioner Data Bank

The National Practitioner Data Bank was introduced in response to the National Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986.  It was first designed as a central clearinghouse of information mandated to be accessed when granting privileges and every two years upon reappointment.  It remains a central clearinghouse today and is now offering pertinent information on providers (physician and allied health practitioners) relative to credentialing decisions.

Enrollment in the continuous query first became available to authorized users a few years ago and provides automatic notification of anything reported to the databank on behalf of any provider currently enrolled.  Unlike the traditional query of the data bank upon initial appointment, reappointment and when privileges are granted, the continuous query is an annual enrollment of providers.  When providers leave the health care facility, it is necessary to deactivate the provider’s enrollment in the continuous query.

In response to current best practice, MPR enrolls all providers into the continuous query and maintains the enrollment as necessary.  The reports received by the participating health care facility are forwarded to the facility as we are notified.  Although it is possible to set the parameters of notification to allow the facility as well as MPR to be notified simultaneously, MPR will continue to forward reports as we receive them since we do not control how the original parameters are designed by each facility.

If you would like to see the list of mandated reportable incidents, please see the NPDB Guidebook at http://www.npdb-hipdb.hrsa.gov/resources/aboutGuidebooks.jsp.

I feel the continuous query provides valid data for all medical staff professionals (MSPs), but shouldn’t be deferred to as the only opportunity to gather data on providers as there are limitations on what data is available.  Like all verifications, it does have its limitations and we should defer to several different primary source verifications to create a balanced approach to gathering data to substantiate current clinical competence.

I welcome your questions and input on the continuous query option and look forward to our next posting in the educational blog series.

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