Most people know that healthcare practitioners are required to have a state issued license in order to practice in their specific field. Generally speaking these licenses are issued by a specific state board that has the appropriate power to manage the licenses of these individuals.
What may not be as well known is that these state boards frequently will hear issues regarding the licensed individuals and perform several different types of actions. For one practitioner they could outright suspend the license. For another they might put the practitioner on probation. These types of actions are more formally known as disciplinary actions.
There are a number of different ways to find out if the medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists you are either seeing for services or employing have a disciplinary action associated with their license.
1) Look up the license of the individual in question.
Most state boards provide an easy to use online interface for locating the license of an individual. Disciplinary actions for a particular license can sometimes be located in the information that is displayed about the licensed individual. Depending on the board, there can be a lot of other information there as well. Most will list the expiration date of the license and some will list where the licensee works or went to school.
Some boards do not publish disciplinary action information in their licensing tool. Additionally, the licensee may have had past disciplinary actions that for one reason or another are not showing up in the information about the license. This can happen for varying reasons. It may be that the board hasn’t yet had the time to compile a full listing of disciplinary actions and convert them to an accessible electronic format. It could also be that the action in question is now considered historical by the board and is no longer displayed because the practitioner in question completed their probation.
2) Determine if there is a board specific source of disciplinary actions.
Many boards will publish a list of disciplinary actions. This is more particularly true in a higher population state. Some states publish complete listings across the various license types. The quality and type of information will vary from board to board and state to state. Some boards might provide a comprehensive download in an excel sheet while others might have specific issues published as a PDF.
Here are a few examples: New York Office of the Professions Enforcement Actions, Florida Final Order and Emergency Action Search
3) Review the board newsletters.
There is high probability that the board newsletter will contain disciplinary action information. I have found that some boards for a particular license type will be more likely to publish information and others less so. For example, most nursing boards will publish disciplinary action information in their newsletters while the opposite is true for pharmacy boards.
4) Search through the meeting minutes of the board.
Most boards publish a copy of their meeting minutes in PDF format. There is a good chance that disciplinary action information will be available in the meeting minutes. There are some boards that will go off the record to have a discussion and not report what was decided when they go back on the record. The format of the data varies widely from board to board. Some boards have a verbatim transcription of the discussion, others will have headers with the data formated to be quickly digestible.
5) Reach out to the board directly.
If the board that you are working with doesn’t have any of the following sources, you can always reach out to them directly to see if they may have information on the individual that you are seeking.
As you can see there are a lot of different ways to get the information. When you start doing the numbers: fifty states multiplied by the number of healthcare practitioner boards multiplied by all the possible sources, it quickly becomes apparent the enormity of the undertaking it is to collect board disciplinary action data across all the healthcare taxonomies for the Unites States.
Collecting that data is exactly what we do here at TyphoonDATA. We collect the data for all the healthcare practitioners in the U.S. Additionally, we have also started building an international product data set. The benefit of the way we collect that data is that all you need to do is put in the name of the individual you have questions about and we do all the hard work for you. Additionally, we also provide monitoring. This means that we continually monitor an individual that had been enrolled against our dataset as we include new disciplinary actions on a monthly basis.
If you have any questions about anything that I’ve mentioned above, I’m more than happy to answer your questions. Feel free to shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-780-5901, Extension 3.