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BMJ Open. 2017 Feb 14;7(2):e014121. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014121.

Revalidation and quality assurance: the application of the MUSIQ framework in independent verification visits to healthcare organisations.

Author information

1
Research Department for Medical Education, UCL Medical School, London, UK.
2
Research Department of Medical Education, UCL Medical School, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We present a national evaluation of the impact of independent verification visits (IVVs) performed by National Health Service (NHS) England as part of quality assuring medical revalidation. Organisational visits are central to NHS quality assurance. They are costly, yet little empirical research evidence exists concerning their impact, and what does exist is conflicting.

SETTING:

The focus was on healthcare providers in the NHS (in secondary care) and private sector across England, who were designated bodies (DBs). DBs are healthcare organisations that have a statutory responsibility, via the lead clinician, the responsible officer (RO), to implement medical revalidation.

PARTICIPANTS:

All ROs who had undergone an IVV in England in 2014 and 2015 were invited to participate. 46 ROs were interviewed. Ethnographic data were gathered at 18 observations of the IVVs and 20 IVV post visit reports underwent documentary analysis.

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES:

Primary outcomes were the findings pertaining to the effectiveness of the IVV system in supporting the revalidation processes at the DBs. Secondary outcomes were methodological, relating to the Model for Understanding Success in Quality (MUSIQ) and how its application to the IVV reveals the relevance of contextual factors described in the model.

RESULTS:

The impact of the IVVs varied by DB according to three major themes: the personal context of the RO; the organisational context of the DB; and the visit and its impact. ROs were largely satisfied with visits which raised the status of appraisal within their organisations. Inadequate or untimely feedback was associated with dissatisfaction.

CONCLUSIONS:

Influencing teams whose prime responsibility is establishing processes and evaluating progress was crucial for internal quality improvement. Visits acted as a nudge, generating internal quality review, which was reinforced by visit teams with relevant expertise. Diverse team membership, knowledge transfer and timely feedback made visits more impactful.

KEYWORDS:

INSPECTION VISITS; MEDICAL EDUCATION & TRAINING; MEDICAL REVALIDATION; PROFESSIONAL REGULATION; QUALITY IMPROVEMENT

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