Am I my brother's keeper? A survey of 10 healthcare professions in the Netherlands about experiences with impaired and incompetent colleagues
until further notice
SourceBMJ Quality and Safety, 24, 1, (2015), pp. 56-64
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
BMJ Quality and Safety
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: Dealing with poor individual performance of healthcare professionals is essential in patient safety management. The objective of the current study was to explore potential differences regarding experiences with impaired and incompetent colleagues between a broad range of healthcare professions. METHODS: A survey of 10 legally regulated professions in the Netherlands on knowledge on dealing with impaired/incompetent colleagues, experiences with such colleagues, action taken upon an impaired and incompetent colleague and reasons for not taking action. RESULTS: We approached 4348 professionals, of whom 1238 responded (28.5%). One-third of the respondents (31.3%) had an experience with an impaired or incompetent colleague in the preceding 12 months, and 84% of these reported cases concerned incompetence. Even under the extreme assumption that all non-respondents had no such experiences, our results indicate that at least 9% of the total sample had dealt with an impaired or incompetent colleague in the previous 12 months. Two-thirds of the professionals (68.6%) who had an experience reported having acted upon it. Respondents significantly less often reported to have acted (49.6% vs 79.1%, p=0.000) when the colleague was working at a different organisation. The primary reason for not taking action was that impairment/incompetence could not be proven. CONCLUSIONS: Even using an extreme correction for our low response rate, at least 9% of healthcare professionals reported dealing with impaired or incompetent colleagues in the past year. Creating and clarifying reporting opportunities when confronted with an incompetent or impaired colleague should be a priority for professional organisations, policymakers and regulatory bodies.
Upload full text
Use your RU credentials (u/z-number and password) to log in with SURFconext to upload a file for processing by the repository team.