Physician-researchers are bound by professional obligations stemming from both the role of the physician and the role of the researcher. Currently, the dominant models for understanding the relationship between physician-researchers' clinical duties and research duties fit into three categories: the similarity position, the difference position and the middle ground. The law may be said to offer a fourth "model" that is independent from these three categories.These models frame the expectations placed upon physician-researchers by colleagues, regulators, patients and research participants. This paper examines the extent to which the data from semi-structured interviews with 30 physician-researchers at three major pediatric hospitals in Canada reflect these traditional models. It seeks to determine the extent to which existing models align with the described lived experience of the pediatric physician-researchers interviewed.Ultimately, we find that although some physician-researchers make references to something like the weak version of the similarity position, the pediatric-researchers interviewed in this study did not describe their dual roles in a way that tightly mirrors any of the existing theoretical frameworks. We thus conclude that either physician-researchers are in need of better training regarding the nature of the accountability relationships that flow from their dual roles or that models setting out these roles and relationships must be altered to better reflect what we can reasonably expect of physician-researchers in a real-world environment.
Swedish penal law does not exculpate on the grounds of diminished accountability; persons judged to suffer from severe mental disorder are sentenced to forensic psychiatric care instead of prison. Re-introduction of accountability as a condition for legal responsibility has been advocated, not least by forensic psychiatric professionals. To investigate how professionals in forensic psychiatry would assess degree of accountability based on psychiatric diagnoses and case vignettes, 30 psychiatrists, 30 psychologists, 45 nurses, and 45 ward attendants from five forensic psychiatric clinics were interviewed. They were asked (i) to judge to which degree (on a dimensional scale from 1 to 5) each of 12 psychiatric diagnoses might affect accountability, (ii) to assess accountability from five case vignettes, and (iii) to list further factors they regarded as relevant for their assessment of accountability. All informants accepted to provide a dimensional assessment of accountability on this basis and consistently found most types of mental disorders to reduce accountability, especially psychotic disorders and dementia. Other factors thought to be relevant were substance abuse, social network, personality traits, social stress, and level of education.
Little attention has been paid to the need for accountability instruments applicable across all health units in the public health system. One tool, the balanced scorecard was created for industry and has been successfully adapted for use in Ontario hospitals. It consists of 4 quadrants: financial performance, outcomes, customer satisfaction and organizational development. The aim of the present study was to determine if a modified nominal group technique could be used to reach consensus among public health unit staff and public health specialists in Ontario about the components of a balanced scorecard for public health units.
A modified nominal group technique consensus method was used with the public health unit staff in 6 Eastern Ontario health units (n=65) and public health specialists (n=18).
73.8% of the public health unit personnel from all six health units in the eastern Ontario region participated in the survey of potential indicators. A total of 74 indicators were identified in each of the 4 quadrants: program performance (n=44); financial performance (n=11); public perceptions (n=11); and organizational performance (n=8).
The modified nominal group technique was a successful method of incorporating the views of public health personnel and specialists in the development of a balanced scorecard for public health.
"Accountability" is the suitcase word in Canadian healthcare. As policy-makers, managers, researchers and providers, we pack accountability with meaning, carry it around with us and open it up to explain everything from the quality of our relationships with and expectations of one another, to our requirements for more transparency in the use of resources, to our diagnosis of problems and remedies for improving our healthcare system.