A new paper by Matthew Spittal, Marie Bismark & David Studdert covers all health professions (not just medical practitioners) and uses data from AHPRA rather than the health complaints commissioners.
Identification of practitioners at high risk of complaints to health profession regulators reports on a study of 715,415 registered health practitioners (55% nurses, 15% doctors, 6% midwives, 5% psychologists, 4% pharmacists, 15% other).
The algorithm, PRONE-HP (Predicted Risk of New Event for Health Practitioners), incorporated predictors for sex, age, profession and specialty, number of prior complaints and complaint issue. showed that practitioners with a score ≤ 4 had a 1% chance of a complaint within 24 months and those with a score ≥ 35 had a higher than 85% chance.
The predictive accuracy of PRONE-HP was good for doctors and dentists; moderate for chiropractors, psychologists, pharmacists and podiatrists but poor for other professions.
The authors conclude:
The capacity of tools like PRONE-HP to harness routinely-collected information to reliably predict risk of future complaints in some professions opens up new opportunities for regulators of the health professions. Prediction alone is not quality improvement. But it has considerable potential to inform larger quality improvement initiatives and to enable regulators to be more proactive in protecting patients in ways that optimise scarce regulatory resources. Hence, when a prediction capability is evident, as it is for complaint-prone doctors and dentists in Australia, the focus should turn to the nature and effectiveness of the interventions that risk prediction will facilitate.