Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Yes, even surgeons can learn

The Risk Management Foundation of CRICO recently supported a research program to test the effectiveness of 360 degree reviews in influencing surgeons' communication and behavioral skills.  The results were just published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

The context was important:

The program was deployed as part of a long-standing, surgical chief-led patient safety and quality collaborative. The collaborative had previously constructed a Code of Excellence (COE), an explicit description of behaviors expected of all surgeons within their departments. The 360 degree evaluation process was designed to assess progress towards these standards.

Here's how the study was designed:

Three hundred and eighty five surgeons in a variety of specialties [in the Harvard hospitals] underwent 360-degree evaluations with a median of 29 reviewers each. Beginning six months after evaluation, surgeons, department heads, and reviewers completed follow-up surveys evaluating accuracy of feedback, willingness to participate in repeat evaluations, and behavior change.

Here are the results:

Survey response rate was 31% for surgeons, 59% for department heads and 36% for reviewers. Eighty seven percent of surgeons agreed that reviewers provided accurate feedback. Similarly, 80% of department heads felt the feedback accurately reflected performance of surgeons within their department. Sixty percent of surgeon respondents reported making changes to their practice based on feedback received. Seventy percent of reviewers elt the evaluation process was valuable with 82% willing to participate in future 360 degree reviews. Thirty two percfent of reviewers reported perceiving behavior change in surgeons.

And the conclusions:

360-degree evaluations can provide a practical, systematic, and subjectively-accurate assessment of surgeon performance without undue reviewer burden. The process was found to result in beneficial behavior change according to surgeons and their co-workers.


nonlocal MD said...

Not sure about allowing those reviewed to pick their reviewers. (It said 'a portion of the reviewers', but the numbers they were allowed to pick seemed close to the total number of reviewers). I'd rather see half or less of the reviewers selected by the reviewed.

Carole said...

I absolutely agree! For no other reasons needed, It's questionable and laughable otherwise. "Sneaky and shady" and everyone with half of a brain could see right through that.