Previous research has examined disciplinary actions against doctors, but other professions (e.g., nurses and midwives, dentists, psychologists, pharmacists) remain understudied. A recent paper by Spittal, Studdert, Paterson & Bismark reports on a retrospective cohort study of all 8307 notifications lodged with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency over 24 months.

Outcomes are analysed, noting for example that one in 10 notifications resulted in restrictive action and fewer than one in 300 notifications resulted in suspension or cancellation of registration.

The authors’ findings reveal significant variation in the use of restrictive actions depending on the source of the notification, the type of issue involved, and the profession of the practitioner.

Available online at BMC Medicine, the paper is entitled Outcomes of notifications to health practitioner boards: a retrospective cohort study.

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