Physician participation in quality improvement work- interest and opportunity: a cross-sectional survey

BMC Prim Care. 2022 Oct 25;23(1):267. doi: 10.1186/s12875-022-01878-6.


Background: Lack of physician involvement in quality improvement threatens the success and sustainability of quality improvement measures. It is therefore important to assess physicians´ interests and opportunities to be involved in quality improvement and their experiences of such participation, both in hospital and general practice.

Methods: A cross-sectional postal survey was conducted on a representative sample of physicians in different job positions in Norway in 2019.

Results: The response rate was 72.6% (1513 of 2085). A large proportion (85.7%) of the physicians wanted to participate in quality improvement, and 68.6% had actively done so in the last year. Physicians' interest in quality improvement and their active participation was significantly related to the designated time for quality improvement in their work-hour schedule (p < 0.001). Only 16.7% reported time designated for quality improvement in their own work hours. When time was designated, 86.6% of the physicians reported participation in quality improvement, compared to 63.7% when time was not specially designated.

Conclusions: This study shows that physicians want to participate in quality improvement, but only a few have designated time to allow continuous involvement. Physicians with designated time participate significantly more. Future quality programs should involve physicians more actively by explicitly designating their time to participate in quality improvement work. We need further studies to explore why managers do not facilitate physicians´ participation in quality improvement.

Keywords: Patient safety; Physicians; Quality Improvement; Work environment.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Norway
  • Patient Safety
  • Physicians*
  • Quality Improvement*