Risk management in hospitals is an approach intended to improve the quality of services by identifying active and latent factors that put patients at risk of physical and psychological harm when in hospital, and then acting to identify, monitor and control those risks, and effectively manage their impact. The object of this report is to describe important risk management competencies for medical practitioners working in South African hospitals, these practitioners’ current proficiency levels and the competencies with the biggest gaps in practice. The report is intended to present a risk management competency model for medical practitioners working in SA hospitals.
This study was conducted in two phases of which Phase 1 was a qualitative research seeking to identify the competencies using literature review and in-depth interviews with medical experts. The second phase was quantitative, characterised by a survey utilising a questionnaire comprising competencies derived from Phase 1. The sample size for Phase 2 was 90 respondents drawn from three population groups and including medical practitioners, professional nurses and members of the hospital management team.
The research identified risk management competencies that were later ranked according to their importance using weighted mean averages. A gap analysis was conducted to assess the difference between what practitioners should know and what practitioners actually do in the hospitals in relation to risk management. A new model of “risk management competencies for medical practitioners” has been developed consisting of the knowledge, skills, behaviour and attitude competency domains that have never been previously identified. This model can be used to update certification requirements for independent medical practitioners and professional development programmes for medical practitioners as well as update curricular offerings of the medical schools