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J Health Organ Manag. 2013;27(4):527-43.

The role of professional communities in governing patient safety.

Author information

1
Department of Applied Health Research, University College London, London, UK. simon.j.turner@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Using the example of medication safety, this paper aims to explore the impact of three managerial interventions (adverse incident reporting, ward-level support by pharmacists, and a medication safety subcommittee) on different professional communities situated in the English National Health Service (NHS).

DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH:

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with clinical and managerial staff from two English NHS acute trusts, supplemented with meeting observations and documentary analysis.

FINDINGS:

Attitudes toward managerial intervention differ by professional community (between doctors, nurses and pharmacists) according to their existing norms of safety and perceptions of formal governance processes.

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS:

The heterogeneity of social norms across different professional communities and medical specialties has implications for the design of organisational learning mechanisms in the field of patient safety.

ORIGINALITY/VALUE:

The paper shows that theorisation of professional "resistance" to managerialism privileges the study of doctors' reactions to management with the consequent neglect of the perceptions of other professional communities.

PMID:
24003636
DOI:
10.1108/JHOM-07-2012-0138
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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