Multi-Source (360 degree) Feedback

There is growing interest internationally in the role of 360 degree feedback or Multi-source feedback (MSF) for the purpose of helping clinicians gain a better understanding of their professionalism as part of their continuing professional development. It is an activity designed to give GPs feedback on their professional and interpersonal skills as perceived by their patients and colleagues.

The MSF is the process by which multiple individuals, representing discrete informant groups, provide anonymous feedback to recipients. In medicine, the informant groups may include peer, referring physician, referral physicians, patients, co-workers (e.g., nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists).

What is MSF

MSF is an evidence-based workplace-based assessment and is a highly acceptable process to provide feedback to doctors on their communication skills and general professional conduct.

The patient feedback tool (Interpersonal Skills Questionnaire or ISQ) is focused on the humanistic aspect of care. It is behaviourally-based so that clinicians can focus on strengthening their communication and interpersonal competencies based on the feedback from patients. It addresses behaviours such as warmth of greeting, listening skills, clarity of explanations, respect for the patient, involving patients in decision-making and patient’s confidence in the doctor’s ability.

It is an exit survey and doctors are sent a package which contains printed surveys and individuals envelopes to ensure anonymity of patients and confidentiality of their responses. It is easy to administer with minimal disruption to the doctor or other staff members. A single sided questionnaire is provided to the patient for completion after consultation with the doctor. This questionnaire is designed to be completed within 1 -2 minutes. The patient then places their completed questionnaire in the provided envelope and it is collected by a staff member on behalf of the doctor. For report validity, a minimum of 30 completed, valid questionnaires are required.

The peer assessment or colleague feedback evaluation tool (CFET) is focused on the professionalism of the doctor. It too is behaviourally-based to help clinicians with aspects of their professionalism, and includes items such as reliability, team work with colleagues, attention to personal and professional development etc. The whole process is done online via CFEP’s secure portal and involves minimal time from the doctor and the nominated colleagues. All that is required is that the doctor provides a list of colleagues who are then emailed by CFEP for their feedback. All this takes place on our highly secure doctor portal. CFEP staff monitors responses and provides timely reminders to the colleagues until the minimum number of responses is met. The questionnaire is designed to be completed within 1 – 2 minutes. For report validity, a minimum of 12 colleague responses are required.

The self-assessment (SA) component mimics both the patient and colleague feedback or colleague feedback only to provide an insight as to how the doctor views him/herself and compares these results with the feedback provided.

CFEP provides a comprehensive report at the completion of the process. A candidate mean score for each question is provided. National means are calculated from participating medical practitioners who have participated in the MSF process. The reports are comprehensive and include graphs, tables as well as anonymised comments from both patients and colleagues. Scores are also provided on how the candidate rated themselves against those of the patients/colleagues.

Why should GPs review this particular aspect of their general practice?

It is often difficult for GPs to gather systematic feedback on their professional skills such as clinical ability, keeping up to date, working within limitations, team work, commitment and probity. CFEP offers this through our fully supported and seamless process of gathering patient and colleague feedback.

The CFEP MSF has been approved by RACGP for 40 Category 1 QI&CPD points for both the Patient Feedback component and the Colleague Feedback component.

Why Come to Us?

  • CFEP surveys is an independent organisation specialising in patient and colleague feedback surveys for health professionals. We have over 20 years’ experience in this field with an international reputation.
  • CFEP Surveys use an extensively validated and robust MSF tool that is managed by knowledgeable and professional staff.
  • CFEP Surveys offers clear, comprehensive, confidential reports which are easy to understand.
  • CFEP Surveys provide practical guidance materials to help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and work towards positive change.

Both the patient feedback and peer assessment tools have been extensively validated and published in several international journals:

  • Campbell, J., Narayanan, A., Burford, B. and Greco, M. 2010. Validation of a multi-source feedback tool for use in general practice.Education for Primary Care. Vol.21
  • L Baker, M J Greco and A Narayanan . “Doctors using patient feedback to establish professional learning goals: Results from a communication skill development programme.” Chapter 22 in Pease, W.; Cooper, M. and Gururajan, R. 2010. Biomedical Knowledge Management: Infrastructures and Processes for E-Health Systems. IGI Publishing, Pennsylvania USA.
  • Narayanan, A. and Greco, M. 2007. What distinguishes general practitioners from consultants, according to colleagues?Journal of Healthcare Management and Marketing. Vol.1 No.1: 80-87

Your Feedback

“Some interesting insights from colleagues, peers and patients”

Specialist, Surgeon

“Very good survey. Gives me more ideas and guidance regarding doctor/patient/colleague interaction/relationship. Gives me more confidence and guidance and moreover point out my strong and weak areas where I have to concentrate more. So it’s a really helpful survey for me”

“I think having patient’s feedback is a very good way to analyse ourselves. I’m happy with the format of results”