Senior executives and medical directors from public and private healthcare organisations across Singapore gathered at a briefing seminar presented by Cognitive Institute to learn how to address unprofessional behaviours of doctors and staff that negatively impact the safety of patients.

The seminar was led by Cognitive Institute’s Medical Director, Dr Mark O’Brien and supported by Managing Director Matthew O’Brien, Senior Clinical Educator Kirsten Dyer and Senior Medical Education Consultant Louise Cuskelly.

It examined issues facing healthcare organisations around the globe, including cases of avoidable error leading to patient harm.

Dr O’Brien overviewed an internationally recognised, evidence-based programme that supports organisations and healthcare professionals to deliver the highest levels of safe and reliable care.

Delivered in partnership with Vanderbilt University, the Promoting Professional Accountability Programme complements the well-established Speaking Up for SafetyTM Programme by Cognitive Institute. These programmes support a speaking up culture and address behaviours that undermine patient safety initiatives.

Dr O’Brien said, “Both programmes work together to provide clinicians with the skills to respectfully speak up if they see a colleague acting in a way that may put a patient at risk”.

“We know the issues these programmes address are critical for a healthcare organisation striving for high reliability and quality care,” he said.

A study on the effectiveness of the Promoting Professional Accountability Programme has shown that most physicians who receive interventions respond with an 80% reduction in their complaint risk score.1

As part of Cognitive Institute’s organisation-wide Safety and Reliability Improvement Programme, two large Singaporean public hospitals; KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital have partnered with Cognitive Institute to implement the Speaking Up for Safety and Promoting Professional Accountability Programmes. Both organisations have demonstrated high levels of support and commitment from organisational leaders, which is vital for successful implementation.

Cognitive Institute’s Managing Director, Mr Matthew O’Brien explained that the programme supports healthcare organisations to build on their quality and reliability improvement initiatives. He said it created a systemic, positive environment where clinicians can support each other to deliver safe care, and address unprofessional behaviours that impact safety culture.

“The decision to bring this work to Singapore comes in response to ongoing interest in the Institute’s expertise for addressing these issues”, he said.

Cognitive Institute is part of the not-for-profit Medical Protection Society and has the exclusive licence to provide the Promoting Professional Accountability Programme outside of North America.

1 Hickson GB, Cooper WA. Pursuing Professionalism (But not without an infrastructure). In: Byyny RL, Papadakis MA, Paauw DS, editors. Medical professionalism: best practices. Melo Park, California: Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society 2015:81-98.

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