Thursday, 7 November 2013

Identification of doctors at risk of recurrent complaints: a national study of healthcare complaints in Australia Bismark MM, Spittal MJ, Gurrin LC, et al. BMJ Qual Saf 2013;22: 532–540.

Can we identify doctors who are at risk of having formal complaints made against them? This Australian study suggests that there are risk factors that can be identified, mainly on the basis of how many complaints you have received before. Over an 11 year period 18,907 formal complaints were made against doctors in Australia. 3% of doctors account for 49% of complaints, and 1% account for 25%, showing that a few doctors are at risk of serial complaints.
Luckily for us, whilst 47% of complaints are against GPs and 14% against surgeons, only 4% are against anaesthetists.
Most complaints relate to treatment, diagnosis and medications, but importantly nearly 25% relate to communication (15% to attitude or manner, 6% to information given and 3% to consent).
79% of complaints are against male doctors.
In terms of recurrence, if more than 2 complaints have been made, there is a 57% chance of a further complaint within 2 years, rising to 79% for 5 complaints, and a 97% chance of a new complaint within a year for someone who has had 10 or more previous complaints.
Across the board we are most at risk of having a formal complaint made against us within 6 months of a previous complaint.
by SW

No comments:

Post a Comment