What is a "site of practice?"
A site of practice (SOP) is a location where you practice medicine. As a faculty clinician at the UW School of Medicine you have limitations on your clinical practice, including where you can practice without prior approval.
Do I need site of practice approval?
To ensure alignment with the mission of UW Medicine, all UWSOM faculty clinicians must have prior approval from the UW Medicine CEO before engaging in Clinical Practice at a particular location, including volunteer activities. The medical malpractice liability coverage provided for faculty through the University and Practice Plans only apply to approved sites of practice where providers are practicing in their capacity as a UW faculty clinician.
UW Medicine, Seattle Children’s and their affiliated facilities are Pre-Approved Sites and no further approvals are required.
Clinical practice is defined as “the type of services for which a Washington state professional health care credential (e.g. MD, MP, and PA) is required.”
Some activities where site of practice approval is required:
- The delivery of clinical health care to a patient. This includes direct clinical contact and care of the patient, laboratory, pathology or radiology services associated with a specific patient’s care, or providing individual medical consultation or advice to a patient.
- Directing other health care professionals in their treatment of an individual patient.
- Medical Director services to a clinic, facility, or site in which health care services are provided.
Some activities where site of practice approval may not be required:
- Observation. If it's observation only, then no site of practice is required. But if there is work on protocols or other clinical procedures, there may be some risk and it's better to seek SOP approval.
- Research. If the activity is research, and IRB approval from the host institution has been obtained, SOP review is not required. If there is clinical work outside of research, then SOP approval is required.
Patient Residential Sites
Under certain conditions, SOP approval is not required for Patient Residential Sites. See the Patient Residential Site Visit Policy for further information.
“Patient Residential Sites” include, but are not limited to, personal residences, adult family homes, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and other licensed care facilities, where a patient resides. Patient Residential Sites do not include hospitals, hospital-based clinics, or freestanding physician clinics.
How do I get a site of practice approved?
Follow these steps to request site of practice approval:
- Complete a Site of Practice Proposal Submission Form (requires AMC login/password)
- You must have concurrence from your division head for this activity
- The department chair will not sign off on a SOP proposal without DH approval
- Print SOP proposal and send with DH concurrence to DOM AHR (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Prepare accompanying documents, if required (foreign indemnification letter, proof of insurance, clinical contract)
- The SOP office will contact the department for concurrence from the chair
- The SOP office will contact you if there are questions or they require more information/documentation
- Wait for approval notification
- The SOP committee requests receipt of proposals at least one month prior to commencement of the proposed activities
- The SOP Committee meets as necessary on the fourth Monday of the month
- Unless very complex, most SOPs are approved by the committee via e-vote
- If all materials are submitted with the proposal, it can be approved in less than a week. If urgent, a few days.
Working outside the United States
There are extra considerations when requesting SOP approval at a foreign site. Please visit the UW Medicine Sites of Practice site for more information.
Site of practice vs. outside work for compensation vs. independent clinical practice
A site of practice approval is required for clinical work whether it is volunteer or compensated. If the activity is paid, a clinical contract may also be required. If a new contract is needed, this will be addressed during the SOP process.
If the activity is paid, non-clinical work, you should go through the 1460 (outside work for compensation) process.
In exceptional instances, a department chair may determine that an individual full-time practice plan member be permitted to engage in or maintain an Independent Clinical Practice. In these situations, the chair should provide the committee with relevant information to support an exception. A request to engage in an Independent Clinical Practice is in addition to the requirements set forth in the University’s Outside Professional Work Policy.