WILKINSON_Marshall_HDC investigations.pdf (636.01 kB)
Health practitioner experience of Health and Disability Commissioner investigations
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-22, 22:42 authored by Jillian WilkinsonJillian Wilkinson, Christopher MarshallChristopher Marshall
INTRODUCTION: The New Zealand Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) Act 1994 was designed to protect the rights of consumers and provide a fair, simple, speedy, and efficient resolution to complaints. No recent studies have been published about the health practitioner experience of HDC investigations following a patient complaint, and none that include nurses and midwives. AIM: To use a restorative inquiry framework to understand the impacts and needs of health practitioners arising from an event that led to an investigation by the HDC during the last 10 years. METHODS: A descriptive qualitative approach was used with data collected using semi-structured interviews with doctors, nurses, and midwives (n = 13). The data were analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Participants worked in primary care, aged care, and services provided by public hospitals. The emotional impacts arising from the event and investigation were profound, with long-lasting effects on participants' sense of self, reputation, and how, or if, they continued to practice. Participants indicated a need for support from colleagues and employers, a fair and relational investigation process, and a meaningful way of connecting to put things right. DISCUSSION: A shift to a restorative approach whereby people involved in a complaint come together to speak truthfully about what happened and its impact on their lives, offers hope for a process that repairs relationships and improves health services. Restorative approaches clarify accountabilities and could lead to more satisfactory outcomes for all parties. This study contributes to emerging thinking about the use of restorative approaches in health-care contexts.
Preferred citationWilkinson, J. & Marshall, C. (2021). Health practitioner experience of Health and Disability Commissioner investigations. Journal of Primary Health Care, 13(3), 213-221. https://doi.org/10.1071/HC21026
Journal titleJournal of Primary Health Care
Organisational cultureadverse eventsoccupational stressmedical errorpatient safetyqualitative researchAgedEmotionsFemaleHumansMidwiferyNew ZealandPregnancyPrimary Health CareClinical ResearchBehavioral and Social Science7.1 Individual care needs7 Management of diseases and conditionsGeneric health relevancePublic Health and Health Services not elsewhere classifiedNursing not elsewhere classified