Double reading as a quality assurance (QA) tool is employed extensively in Norwegian hospital radiology departments. The practice is resource consuming and regularly debated.
To investigate the rates of double reading in Norwegian hospital radiology departments, to identify department characteristics associated with double reading rates, and to investigate associations between double reading and other quality improvement.
We issued two parallel national surveys to management and to consultant radiologists, respectively. Management was defined as the chief medical officer and/or the head of the radiology department. The management survey covered staffing, perceived resource situation, double reading, guidelines, and quality improvement. The radiologist survey served to validate management responses concerning double reading. Management survey items concerning practices of quality improvement were organized into three indices reflecting different quality approaches, namely: appropriateness of investigations; personal performance feedback; and system performance feedback.
The response rates of the surveys were 100% (45/45) for management and 55% (266/483) for radiologists. Of all exams read by consultants, 33% were double read. The double reading rate was highest in university hospital departments (59%), intermediate in other teaching departments (30%), and lowest in non-teaching departments (11%) (P?=?0.01). Among the quality indices, mean scores were highest on appropriateness index (68%), intermediate on the person index (56%), and lowest on system index (37%). There were no correlations between double reading rates and scores on any of the quality indices.
The rate of double reading in Norwegian hospital radiology is significantly correlated to department teaching status, but not to other practices of quality work.
To test the hypothesis that a 20-h communication skills course based on the Four Habits model can improve doctor-patient communication among hospital employed doctors across specialties.
Crossover randomized controlled trial in a 500-bed hospital with interventions at different time points in the two arms. Assessments were video-based and blinded. Intervention consisted of 20 h of communication training, containing alternating plenary with theory/debriefs and practical group sessions with role-plays tailored to each doctor.
Of 103 doctors asked to participate, 72 were included, 62 received the intervention, 51 were included in the main analysis, and another six were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. We found an increase in the Four Habits Coding Scheme of 7.5 points (p = 0.01, 95% confidence interval 1.6-13.3), fairly evenly distributed on subgroups. Baseline score (SD) was 60.3 (9.9). Global patient satisfaction did not change, neither did average encounter duration.
Utilizing an outpatient-clinic training model developed in the US, we demonstrated that a 20-h course could be generalized across medical and national cultures, indicating improvement of communication skills among hospital doctors.
The Four Habits model is suitable for communication-training courses in hospital settings. Doctors across specialties can attend the same course.
To identify potential barriers in communication with non-Western immigrant patients by comparing the frequency and nature of emotional cues and concerns, as well as physician responses during consultations, between ethnically Norwegian patients and immigrant patients in a general hospital setting.
Consultations with 56 patients (30 non-Western immigrants and 26 ethnic Norwegians) were coded using the Verona Coding Definitions of Emotional Sequences (VR-CoDES) and the Verona Codes for Provider Responses (Verona Codes-P).
There were no significant differences in frequencies of cues and concerns between immigrant and Norwegian patients. However, the immigrant patients with high language proficiency expressed more concerns compared to immigrant patients with language problems and Norwegian patients. Moreover, more concerns were expressed during consultations with female physicians than with male physicians.
Expression of cues and concerns in immigrant patients is dependent on the patient's language proficiency and the physician's gender.
Providers should recognize that immigrant patients may have many emotional cues and concerns, but that language problems may represent a barrier for the expression of these concerns.
"Four Habits" is the first larger generic clinical communication program to have a documented effect. It has not been evaluated outside USA. In a pilot study, Norwegian hospital physicians assessed its usefulness, and we developed a questionnaire where patients reported "Four Habits"-specific physician behaviour.
We ran a 3-day course with 16 participants and three US facilitators. The questionnaire mapping "Four Habits" with 23 items was distributed by participating physicians to 210 patients. Participating physicians met in evaluative focus groups 3 months after the course.
The questionnaire was condensed to 10 items after factorial analysis. The resulting scale performed well. A large amount of missing data on some items suggested that patients found it difficult to evaluate details of "Four Habits"-specific physician behaviour. Participants found that the "Four Habits" short course led to improvement of their encounters. Some elements of the method were not perceived as relevant for all types of encounters (habits II and III).
"Four Habits" is applicable outside US with some adjustments. A shortened version of the questionnaire will be used in a planned randomized controlled trial.
Many medical doctors work outside their countries of origin. Consequently, language barriers and cultural differences may result in miscommunication and tension in the workplace, leading to poor performance and quality of treatment and affecting patient safety. However, there is little information about how foreign doctors and their colleagues perceive their collaboration and handle situations that can affect the quality of health services.
Individual, semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with two groups of informants: 16 doctors who had recently started working in Norway and 12 unrelated Norwegian-born healthcare providers who had extensive experience of working with doctors from foreign countries. The interviews were analysed according to the systematic text condensation method.
The foreign doctors described themselves as newcomers and found it difficult to speak with their colleagues about their shortcomings because they wanted to be seen as competent. Their Norwegian colleagues reported that many new foreign doctors had demanding work schedules and therefore they were reluctant to give them negative feedback. They also feared that foreign doctors would react negatively to criticism. All participants, both the new foreign doctors and their colleagues, reported that they took responsibility for the prevention of misunderstandings and errors; nevertheless, they struggled to discuss such issues with each other.
Silence was the coping strategy adopted by both the foreign doctors and native healthcare professionals when facing difficulties in their working relationships. In such situations, many foreign doctors are socialized into a new workplace in which uncertainty and shortcomings are not discussed openly. Effective leadership and procedures to facilitate communication may alleviate this area of concern.
This study explored the possibility of defining a set of terms to describe and identify the basis for clinical decisions in a set of transcriptions from clinical encounters with previously identified decisions. The paper presents the considerations behind the exploratory study and considerations for further work.
There is little knowledge available about how it feels for an international medical graduate arriving in Norway. We have investigated how the initial period as an employee of the Norwegian health services is perceived.
We conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 international medical graduates who had foreign training and citizenship. They had worked as doctors in Norway for less than two years. Transcriptions of the interviews were analysed using the Systematic Text Condensation method.
Their background for working in Norway varied. Some had an affiliation to the country and a social network, which appeared to be a support during the initial period. Many perceived the authorisation process as bureaucratic and as throwing suspicion on them. The doctors felt that they could cope with most of their work assignments, but reported having faced challenges in terms of language, a lack of insight into systems and uncertainty regarding what was expected of the doctor's role in a Norwegian context. There was also uncertainty associated with a perceived absence of collegial support. Because of the availability of jobs, some had adjusted their career plans towards psychiatry, geriatrics or general practice.
It appears that preparatory measures such as training courses, tests and the authorisation process fail to provide the practice-related experience and local knowledge that many doctors feel that they need in their new job situation. Measures such as language training and introduction to systems would be likely to improve their general well-being as well as integration.
Comment In: Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2015 Jun 30;135(12-13):110426130529
To describe the process for developing interrater reliability (IRR) for the Four Habits Coding Scheme (4HCS) for a heterogeneous material as part of a randomized controlled trial.
Videotapes from 497 hospital encounters involving 71 doctors from most clinical specialties were collected. Four experienced psychology students were trained as raters. We calculated Pearson's r and the intraclass correlation (ICC) on the total score across consecutive samples of twenty videos, and Pearson's r on single videos across items in the initial coding phase.
After 18h of training and one rating session, the total score Pearson's r and ICC exceeded .70 for all pairs of raters. Across items within single videos, the Pearson's r was never below 0.60 after the first 50 videos. At item and habit level Pearson's r remained unsatisfactory for some rater pairs mostly due to low variance on some items.
Based on the evaluation of the effect of communication skills training via a total score, IRR was satisfactory for the 4HCS as applied to heterogeneous material. However, good reliability at item level was difficult to achieve.
4HCS may be used as an outcome measure for clinical communication skills in randomized controlled trials.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the level of job satisfaction among general practitioners (GPs) and to compare it with that of hospital doctors. DESIGN: Postal questionnaire among Norwegian doctors in 2002 and similar data from 1994 and 2000 for most of the respondents. MATERIAL: A total of 295 GPs out of 1174 doctors completed the questionnaire (73% response rate). Main outcome measures. Self-reported levels of job satisfaction according to the Job Satisfaction Scale (JSS). RESULTS: Norwegian GPs reported a high level of job satisfaction with a mean score on the JSS of 52.6 (10 is minimum and 70 maximum). The reported level of satisfaction was highest for their opportunities to use their abilities, cooperation with colleagues and fellow workers, variation in work, and freedom to choose own method of working. The GPs' level of job satisfaction remained stable in 1994, 2000, and 2004 in spite of major health reforms. GPs report a higher level of job satisfaction than hospital doctors. CONCLUSIONS: In spite of international discussions on unhappy doctors and doctors' discontent, Norwegian GPs do report a high and stable level of job satisfaction.