Prevention of and dealing with poor performance: an interview study about how professional associations aim to support healthcare professionals
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SourceInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care, 29, 6, (2017), pp. 838-844
Article / Letter to editor
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International Journal for Quality in Health Care
SubjectRadboudumc 10: Reconstructive and regenerative medicine RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Objective: To explore how professional associations of nine healthcare professions aim to support professionals to prevent and deal with poor performance. Design: Qualitative interview study. Setting: The Netherlands. Participants: Representatives of professional associations for dentists, general practitioners, medical specialists, midwives, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, psychologists and psychotherapists. Interventions: During nine face-to-face semi-structured interviews we asked how associations aim to support professionals in prevention of and dealing with poor performance. Following the first interview, we monitored new initiatives in support over a 2.5-year period, after which we conducted a second interview. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Main outcome measures: Available policy and support regarding poor performance. Results: Three themes emerged from our data (i.e. elaborating on professional performance, performance insight and dealing with poor performance) for which we identified a total of 10 categories of support. Support concerned professional codes, guidelines and codes of conduct, quality registers, individual performance assessment, peer consultation, practice evaluation, helpdesk and expert counselling, a protocol for dealing with poor performance, a place for support and to report poor performance, and internal disciplinary procedures. Conclusions: This study provides an overview of support given to nine healthcare professions by their associations regarding poor performance, and identifies gaps that associations could follow up on, such as clarifying what to do when confronted with a poorly performing colleague, supporting professionals that poorly perform, and developing methods for individual performance assessment to gain performance insight. A next step would be to evaluate the use and effect of different types of support.
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