Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business

The National Practitioner Databank and You

The National Practitioner Databank is a repository for the names of certain individuals who have had an adverse action against their license or medical malpractice verdict or settlement. Congress enacted legislation to create the Databank because of increasing occurrences of medical malpractice litigation and the need to improve quality medical care.

One of the factors that pushed for the need of a National Practitioner Databank was that, for example, a physician with multiple medical malpractice verdicts or settlements against them could move to another State where he/she would be able to obtain a license because the second State would not know about the claims in the previous State against that physician.

The Databank also includes the names of nurses and other health care providers. If you have had any adverse action against your license, with the exception of being fined, you most likely will be reported to the National Practitioner Databank.

The Databank is confidential, limited to entities participating in a peer review process. Therefore, hospitals can inquire to determine if a physicians, nurse, etc. has been reported to the National Practitioner Databank and the reason for their reporting. In fact, if you were disciplined by a peer review organization, such as one that certifies nurses or other health care professionals, you could be added to the Databank.

A professional society is a membership or association of health care practitioners at the national, State or local level that follows a formal peer review process for the purpose of furthering quality health care. If action is taken against your certification or membership, you also could also be reported to the Databank.

To learn more about the National Practitioner Databank, go to npdb.hrsa.gov. You even can check yourself to see if you have been reported. However, if you have been reported, you should have received a notice in the mail giving you an opportunity to provide your side of the story to be included when eligible entities query you.


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