Ph.D. position in Open Disclosure in Care

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 12 Sep 2021

The current PhD position involves research on open disclosure after patient safety incidents. Open disclosure refers to the process of providing full information, proactively and according to advancing insight, on why the incident happened, what the possibilities are for limiting or repairing the damage, how lessons are learned from the incident and whether the care provider offers compensation.
Open disclosure is of significant importance to both patients and involved healthcare providers to minimize the physical and mental consequences of errors. For healthcare providers and/or professionals, open disclosure can contribute to work effectiveness and well-being because incidents can be discussed, learned from, and accommodated in an open environment.

The idea that open disclosure is crucial for all stakeholders is widely supported. To encourage open disclosure information, training and coaching are offered to healthcare staff. Furthermore, open disclosure is embedded in the law, as are procedures that require healthcare providers report and investigate serious incidents, and procedures that encourage a fast and informal way of handling complaints and claims. This legal framework seeks to provide a comprehensive solution when something goes wrong in healthcare. Paradoxically, legal procedures concerned with openness, quality of healthcare, complaints and claims may also stand in the way of providing open disclosure.
Indeed, despite all measures that have been taken, research and practical experiences have shown that actually achieving an open environment where open disclosure thrives is difficult. This calls for research that creates insight into effective (organizational) strategies and (policy) instruments that actually stimulate open disclosure. A crucial element of such research is developing a valid method to assess open disclosure, in order to be able to test whether intended strategies and instruments actually lead to more open disclosure and benefit both the patients and the healthcare providers involved. Therefore, this PhD-study aims to gain insight into how to measure open disclosure and how to encourage it. To do so, a combination of qualitative methods (interviews, document analysis, focus groups) and quantitative methods (surveys, experiments) is used.

Your duties

The Ph.D. candidate conducts independent research within a team of researchers working on the Open Disclosure in Care project. The candidate is supervised by a (team of) professor(s), from the Faculties of Social Sciences, Law, and the NSCR (Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement). The candidate incorporates the findings of his or her research in articles, aiming to publish these in scientific journals. These articles also form the basis of a doctoral dissertation. Moreover the PhD candidate collaborates with, and initiates activities for knowledge sharing with the OPEN learning network. OPEN is a learning network in which knowledge and experience is shared between employees of different hospitals, and between these hospitals and researchers from the VU, Amsterdam UMC/Uva and NIVEL. In this way, hospitals provide each other and the researchers of OPEN with insight into their working methods aimed at open disclosure after medical incidents. There are currently 18 hospitals affiliated with OPEN (see also ).

In addition, the PhD candidate is enrolled in the Graduate School for Social Sciences to develop research skills. Furthermore, the candidate will be involved in teaching activities in the department of Organization Sciences.

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