HealthcarePapers 16(4) April 2017 : 50-54.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2017.25200

Enhancing the Relationship Between Regulators and Their Profession

Zubin Austin


Regulators face unique pressures to balance competing priorities related to patient safety, public accountability, and practitioners' expectations. Historically, the collegial model of self-regulation has been used as a tool for risk management, to recognize the importance of profession- and context-specific judgment in complex, ambiguous clinical situations. Increasingly, as public accountability concerns have grown dominant within regulatory bodies, this collegial model has shifted toward a more antagonistic relationship between the regulators and the regulated. Wilkie and Tzountzouris (2017) highlight one profession's journey toward embedding professionalism within regulatory practices and policies through application of a right-touch regulatory philosophy. Given the complexity of regulatory work, this shift required significant strategic and deliberative thinking. The challenges of facilitating this sort of cultural shift in the role of a regulator are significant, but so too are the potential gains associated with a more engaged relationship between regulators and their practitioners.



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