Underperformance can be defined as performance which persistently falls below a desired minimum standard considered acceptable for patient care. Within gastrointestinal endoscopy, underperformance may be multifactorial, related to an individual’s knowledge, skills, attitudes, health or external factors. If left unchecked, underperformance has the potential to impact on care and ultimately patient safety. Managing underperformance should be a key attribute of high-quality endoscopy service, as recognised in the Joint Advisory Group on Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (JAG) accreditation process. However, it is recognised that not all services have robust mechanisms to do this.
This article provides the JAG position on managing underperformance in endoscopy, defined through a practical framework. This follows a stepwise process of detecting underperformance, verification, identification of additional causative factors, providing support and reassessment. Detection and verification of issues may require use of multiple evidence sources, including performance data, feedback and appraisal reports. Where technical underperformance is identified, this should be risk stratified by potential risk to patient safety. Support should be tailored to each individual case based on the type of underperformance detected, any causative factors with an action plan developed. Support may include coaching, mentoring, training and upskilling. Wider support from the medical director’s office or external services may also be required. Monitoring and reassessment is a crucial part of the overall process.
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