What is a Standard Review?

So, what is a Standard Review? In the world of healthcare a standard review is a review of a physicians’ treatment conducted by a Physician Advisor according to state regulatory standards and time frames.

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Standard reviews normally occur within 24 to 48 hours of treatment and are a means for providing a secondary check to ensure that patients have the ailments that their attending physician noted in their case file at the time that they presented for treatment.

A standard review is a solid means of verifying that patient care is adequate and appropriately aligned with symptoms.  Additionally, healthcare organizations who have reviews conducted as part of a regular utilization management process can pinpoint areas of their practice which lack cost effectiveness, or are loss drivers.

Analyzing the standard reviews and their results can assist healthcare organizations in optimizing practice efficiency.  It can also lead to a decrease in over-utilization of medically unnecessary treatment and procedures, and ensure that the organization is deploying its resources in a way which will optimize patient care.

Standard Review Example

A standard review in healthcare typically refers to a systematic and comprehensive assessment of a particular aspect of healthcare, such as a medical intervention, treatment, or healthcare policy. The purpose of a standard review is to gather and evaluate existing evidence to inform decision-making, improve patient outcomes, and contribute to the overall body of knowledge in healthcare. Be sure to become knowledgeable about the standards involved in initiating and conducting these reviews.

Here’s a standard review example:

Title: A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Physical Exercise in Managing Chronic Pain in Older Adults

Objective: To systematically review and synthesize existing literature on the effectiveness of physical exercise as a therapeutic intervention for managing chronic pain in older adults.


  1. Search Strategy: A comprehensive search was conducted in major electronic databases (e.g., PubMed, Cochrane Library) using predefined search terms related to “chronic pain,” “older adults,” and “physical exercise.”
  2. Inclusion Criteria:
    • Studies published in the last 10 years.
    • Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies.
    • Participants aged 65 years and older.
    • Interventions involving physical exercise as a primary component.
    • Outcomes related to pain intensity, functional status, and quality of life.
  3. Data Extraction and Quality Assessment:
    • Two independent reviewers extracted relevant data from selected studies.
    • The Cochrane Risk of Bias tool was used to assess the quality of RCTs, and the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale was used for observational studies.
  4. Data Synthesis:
    • Quantitative synthesis (meta-analysis) was performed for homogenous studies.
    • Qualitative synthesis was conducted for studies with substantial heterogeneity.


  • Initial database search yielded 500 relevant articles.
  • After screening titles and abstracts, 50 articles were selected for full-text review.
  • Final inclusion comprised 20 studies (15 RCTs, 5 observational studies).
  • Meta-analysis showed a statistically significant reduction in pain intensity in the exercise group compared to control (p < 0.05).
  • Subgroup analysis suggested that structured, supervised exercise programs had a greater impact on pain reduction.


This systematic review provides evidence supporting the effectiveness of physical exercise in managing chronic pain in older adults. Structured and supervised exercise programs appear to be particularly beneficial. However, further well-designed RCTs are needed to establish the optimal type, frequency, and duration of exercise interventions for this population.

Implications for Practice

Healthcare providers should consider incorporating evidence-based physical exercise programs into the management of chronic pain in older adults. This review highlights the need for personalized exercise prescriptions based on individual needs and preferences. Future research should focus on long-term outcomes and potential adverse effects associated with exercise interventions in this population.