Exception reporting in the quality and outcomes framework: Views of practice staff - A qualitative study

Stephen Campbell, Kerin Hannon, Helen Lester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Exception reporting allows practices to exclude eligible patients from indicators or an entire clinical domain of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). It is a source of contention, viewed by some as a ‘gaming’ mechanism. Aim: To explore GP and practice staff views and experiences of exception reporting in the QOF. Design of study Qualitative semi-structured interviews. Setting Interviews with 24 GPs, 20 practice managers, 13 practice nurses, and nine other staff were conducted in 27 general practices in the UK. Method Semi-structured interviews, analysed using open explorative thematic coding. Results Exception reporting was seen as a clinically necessary part of the QOF. Exempting patients, particularly for discretionary reasons, was seen as an ‘exception to the rule’ that was justified either in terms of practising patient-centred care within a framework of population-based health measures or because of the poor face validity of the indicators. Rates in all practices were described as minimal and the threat of external scrutiny from primary care trusts kept rates low. However, GPs were happy to defend using discretionary exception codes for individual patients. Exception reporting was used, particularly at the end of the payment year, to meet unmet targets and to prevent the practice being penalised financially. Overt gaming was seen as something done by ‘other’ practices. Only two GPs admitted to occasional inappropriate exception reporting. Conclusion Exception reporting is seen by most GPs and practice staff as an important and defensible safeguard against inappropriate treatment or over-treatment of patients. However, a minority of practitioners also saw it as a gaming mechanism
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-189
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Volume61
Issue number585
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Interviews
Patient-Centered Care
Reproducibility of Results
General Practice
Primary Health Care
Nurses
Health
Therapeutics
Population

Cite this

Campbell, Stephen ; Hannon, Kerin ; Lester, Helen. / Exception reporting in the quality and outcomes framework: Views of practice staff - A qualitative study. In: British Journal of General Practice. 2011 ; Vol. 61, No. 585. pp. 183-189.
@article{320dacc67ddd412e9c7736c7b59d794f,
title = "Exception reporting in the quality and outcomes framework: Views of practice staff - A qualitative study",
abstract = "Background Exception reporting allows practices to exclude eligible patients from indicators or an entire clinical domain of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). It is a source of contention, viewed by some as a ‘gaming’ mechanism. Aim: To explore GP and practice staff views and experiences of exception reporting in the QOF. Design of study Qualitative semi-structured interviews. Setting Interviews with 24 GPs, 20 practice managers, 13 practice nurses, and nine other staff were conducted in 27 general practices in the UK. Method Semi-structured interviews, analysed using open explorative thematic coding. Results Exception reporting was seen as a clinically necessary part of the QOF. Exempting patients, particularly for discretionary reasons, was seen as an ‘exception to the rule’ that was justified either in terms of practising patient-centred care within a framework of population-based health measures or because of the poor face validity of the indicators. Rates in all practices were described as minimal and the threat of external scrutiny from primary care trusts kept rates low. However, GPs were happy to defend using discretionary exception codes for individual patients. Exception reporting was used, particularly at the end of the payment year, to meet unmet targets and to prevent the practice being penalised financially. Overt gaming was seen as something done by ‘other’ practices. Only two GPs admitted to occasional inappropriate exception reporting. Conclusion Exception reporting is seen by most GPs and practice staff as an important and defensible safeguard against inappropriate treatment or over-treatment of patients. However, a minority of practitioners also saw it as a gaming mechanism",
author = "Stephen Campbell and Kerin Hannon and Helen Lester",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.3399/bjgp11X567117",
language = "English",
volume = "61",
pages = "183--189",
journal = "Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners",
issn = "0960-1643",
publisher = "Royal College of General Practitioners",
number = "585",

}

Exception reporting in the quality and outcomes framework: Views of practice staff - A qualitative study. / Campbell, Stephen; Hannon, Kerin; Lester, Helen.

In: British Journal of General Practice, Vol. 61, No. 585, 2011, p. 183-189.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exception reporting in the quality and outcomes framework: Views of practice staff - A qualitative study

AU - Campbell, Stephen

AU - Hannon, Kerin

AU - Lester, Helen

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Background Exception reporting allows practices to exclude eligible patients from indicators or an entire clinical domain of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). It is a source of contention, viewed by some as a ‘gaming’ mechanism. Aim: To explore GP and practice staff views and experiences of exception reporting in the QOF. Design of study Qualitative semi-structured interviews. Setting Interviews with 24 GPs, 20 practice managers, 13 practice nurses, and nine other staff were conducted in 27 general practices in the UK. Method Semi-structured interviews, analysed using open explorative thematic coding. Results Exception reporting was seen as a clinically necessary part of the QOF. Exempting patients, particularly for discretionary reasons, was seen as an ‘exception to the rule’ that was justified either in terms of practising patient-centred care within a framework of population-based health measures or because of the poor face validity of the indicators. Rates in all practices were described as minimal and the threat of external scrutiny from primary care trusts kept rates low. However, GPs were happy to defend using discretionary exception codes for individual patients. Exception reporting was used, particularly at the end of the payment year, to meet unmet targets and to prevent the practice being penalised financially. Overt gaming was seen as something done by ‘other’ practices. Only two GPs admitted to occasional inappropriate exception reporting. Conclusion Exception reporting is seen by most GPs and practice staff as an important and defensible safeguard against inappropriate treatment or over-treatment of patients. However, a minority of practitioners also saw it as a gaming mechanism

AB - Background Exception reporting allows practices to exclude eligible patients from indicators or an entire clinical domain of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). It is a source of contention, viewed by some as a ‘gaming’ mechanism. Aim: To explore GP and practice staff views and experiences of exception reporting in the QOF. Design of study Qualitative semi-structured interviews. Setting Interviews with 24 GPs, 20 practice managers, 13 practice nurses, and nine other staff were conducted in 27 general practices in the UK. Method Semi-structured interviews, analysed using open explorative thematic coding. Results Exception reporting was seen as a clinically necessary part of the QOF. Exempting patients, particularly for discretionary reasons, was seen as an ‘exception to the rule’ that was justified either in terms of practising patient-centred care within a framework of population-based health measures or because of the poor face validity of the indicators. Rates in all practices were described as minimal and the threat of external scrutiny from primary care trusts kept rates low. However, GPs were happy to defend using discretionary exception codes for individual patients. Exception reporting was used, particularly at the end of the payment year, to meet unmet targets and to prevent the practice being penalised financially. Overt gaming was seen as something done by ‘other’ practices. Only two GPs admitted to occasional inappropriate exception reporting. Conclusion Exception reporting is seen by most GPs and practice staff as an important and defensible safeguard against inappropriate treatment or over-treatment of patients. However, a minority of practitioners also saw it as a gaming mechanism

U2 - 10.3399/bjgp11X567117

DO - 10.3399/bjgp11X567117

M3 - Article

VL - 61

SP - 183

EP - 189

JO - Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners

JF - Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners

SN - 0960-1643

IS - 585

ER -