We’ve put together some handy hints for hearing members and assessors who are out in the field conducting Performance Assessments or audits.
Things to remember
- When you are performing a Performance Assessment or audit, there should always be at least two assessors onsite at any time.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Note where the exits are in case you need to leave in a hurry.
- Always schedule meetings during business hours when there are other people around.
- Carry all your belongings and work documents in a single carry bag and keep items together in the bag when not in use. If you need to depart quickly you do not want to waste time packing your gear.
- Ensure all confidential Council documents and files are secure while you are on site.
- Ensure your mobile phone is available, switched on and charged. Make sure you have the phone numbers of you co-assessors and the Council saved in your contacts.
- If the doctor questions your role and tries to interfere with your assessment/audit, explain to the doctor that you are there purely as an assessor/auditor and have no power to make decisions.
What to do if a doctor threatens you?
If the doctor persists in interfering or becomes threatening during the assessment/audit then:
- In the case of an audit make an excuse to leave the practice, taking all your belongings with you and call the Council.
The Council will contact the doctor to advise them that the audit will not continue on that day. Do not return to the practice.
- In the case of an assessment where you are working in a group have a pre-agreed “code-phrase” you can use to alert the team to leave the assessment.
The facilitator will explain to the doctor that the team is leaving and the assessment is being terminated and that the Council will contact them.
Document the reason for terminating the assessment in your report.
If you are conducting a hearing or interview:
- Before conducting an interview or hearing make sure that you are familiar with the Council duress alarm system.
This system is in place to ensure a hearing member’s safety when threatened or feeling unsafe.
If you are conducting an interview and the doctor becomes verbally aggressive, the Chair should:
- Let the doctor know that his/her conduct is not acceptable and that should it continue the hearing/interview will be terminated. Be careful not to become aggressive in return.
- Adjourn the interview if the behaviour persists
- Alert Council staff of the doctor’s behaviour and then decide whether the hearing/interview should continue. A plan for letting the doctor know will be made according to the circumstances.