Setting performance standards for medical practice: a theoretical framework

Southgate, L., Hays, R. B., Norcini, J., Mulholland, H., Ayers, B., Woolliscroft, J., Cusimano, M., McAvoy, P., Ainsworth, M., Haist, S., and Campbell, M. (2001) Setting performance standards for medical practice: a theoretical framework. Medical Education, 35 (5). pp. 474-481.

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Background The assessment of performance in the real world of medical practice is now widely accepted as the goal of assessment at the postgraduate level. This is largely a validity issue, as it is recognised that tests of knowledge and in clinical simulations cannot on their own really measure how medical practitioners function in the broader health care system. However, the development of standards for performance-based assessment is not as well understood as in competency assessment, where simulations can more readily reflect narrower issues of knowledge and skills. This paper proposes a theoretical framework for the development of standards that reflect the more complex world in which experienced medical practitioners work.

Methods The paper reflects the combined experiences of a group of education researchers and the results of literature searches that included identifying current health system data sources that might contribute information to the measurement of standards.

Conclusion Standards that reflect the complexity of medical practice may best be developed through an ‘expert systems’ analysis of clinical conditions for which desired health care outcomes reflect the contribution of several health professionals within a complex, three-dimensional, contextual model. Examples of the model are provided, but further work is needed to test validity and measurability.

Item ID: 24326
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2923
Keywords: Clinical competence, standards, models, theoretical, quality of health care, organization, standards, research design
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2012 06:21
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 100%
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