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Performance assessment in health care providers: a critical review of evidence and current practice

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hamilton k.e.stc., coates v., kelly b., boore j.r.p., cundell j.h., gracey j., mcfetridge b., mcgonigle m. & sinclair m.(2007) Journal of Nursing Management15, 773–791



Performance assessment in health care providers: a critical review of evidence and current practice Aim 

To evaluate methods of performance assessment through an international literature review and a survey of current practice. Background 

Over the past two decades health care organizations have focussed on promoting high quality care in conjunction with retaining motivated staff. Cognisant of such initiatives, we sought to evaluate assessment methods for qualified staff according to their utility in the working environment. Methods 

A systematic literature search was completed and each paper independently reviewed. All health care organizations in Northern Ireland submitted details of their performance assessments. Each was critically appraised using a utility index. Results 

Performance was not universally defined. A broad range of assessments were identified, each method had advantages and disadvantages. Although many lacked rigorous testing, areas of good practice were also noted. Conclusions 

No single method is appropriate for assessing clinical performance. Rather, this study endorses proposals for a multi-method strategy to ensure that performance assessment demonstrates all attributes required for effective nursing and midwifery practice.
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Keywords: health services research; multiprofessional practice; nursing and midwifery assessment

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Senior Research Fellow, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford 2: Professor of Nursing, Joint Appointment University of Ulster & Altnagelvin Hospital 3: Associate Head of School, School of Nursing, University of Ulster, Ulster 4: Professor of Nursing, University of Ulster, Ulster 5: Lecturer/Practitioner, School of Health Sciences, University of Ulster, Ulster 6: Lecturer, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Research Institute, University of Ulster, Ulster 7: Lecturer, School of Nursing, University of Ulster, Ulster 8: Senior Lecturer, University of Ulster, Ulster, UK

Publication date: 01 November 2007

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