While many successful patient safety improvement efforts target system performance, less is known about strategies to address safety issues with individual clinicians, according to a new primer from the AHRQ Patient Safety Network. For example, it is not clear how many physicians pose safety risks because they lack necessary skills. Disciplinary actions may be effective, but many clinicians are reluctant to report impaired colleagues. And little research has addressed safety improvements for clinicians other than physicians. Future research should not only define clinician factors that lead to adverse events but also measure the skill and professional competence of non-physician members of the health care team, according to the primer.
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