INCEPT (INviting Co-workers to Evaluate Physicians Tool) collects feedback about the performance of medical specialists with the use of a short questionnaire. The questionnaire evaluates different competencies of medical specialists such as professional attitudes, organization and self-management and patient-centeredness. The INCEPT is a multisource feedback instrument which can be used for the Dutch mandatory recertification IFMS (Individual Performance Medical Specialists) trajectory. The INCEPT system is only provided by the Perito Professional Performance platform which fully facilitates the web-based data collection and feedback report generation.

How does a medical specialist keep up his/her performance in the complex environment of a clinic, the operating room, the specialty group, the hospital and the healthcare system? This question is posed not only by the medical profession itself, but also by society. With the help of the INCEPT measurement-and-improvement system it is possible to assess how individual medical specialists perform, according to their peers, co-workers, and residents. Receiving feedback can be motivating and supporting for further professional development as a medical specialist.

The Perito Professional Performance platform supports the user friendly web-based data collection. Assessment of medical specialists’ professional performance is done by the use of questionnaires. Respondents from various disciplines and positions fill out the same questionnaire to rate the specialist on several performance domains. The medical specialist also self-evaluates. The questionnaires used for the INCEPT system have been developed by the research group Professional Performance & Compassionate Care, Amsterdam University Medical Centers. The development was based on literature research, previously validated performance constructs, and experience and insights of the researchers. The self-assessment questionnaire includes reflective questions using the 3 pillars of physicians’ professional performance as introduced by Prof. Kiki Lombarts.

The quality of the questionnaire has been investigated; the results are published by Mirja van der Meulen, PhD et al. and can be found here: “Validation of the INCEPT: a multisource feedback tool for capturing different perspectives on physicians’ professional performance. .

Medical specialists evaluate themselves and are evaluated by (8) peers (from one’s own specialty group and also from colleagues from other specialties), (8) co-workers and (8) residents (if applicable). Medical specialists mostly self-select who they want to invite for the evaluation. Completion of the questionnaire using the Perito platform takes only a few minutes.

Participation in the INCEPT is anonymous for respondents. The feedback report, which the assessed individual medical specialist receives, lists the number of respondents but no other details about the respondents.

Once data collection is completed, medical specialists are able to safely download their individual INCEPT feedback from the Perito platform. Reports summarize the results of all evaluations, including scores, written feedback and their self-evaluation scores and reflections. The feedback report also presents a national benchmark so that results can be compared to the nationwide mean scores of other medical specialists.

The evaluation via INCEPT is completely web based. Filling out the questionnaires as well as receiving of the individual feedback reports per specialist is completely automatic. The security of the INCEPT system fulfils strict safety requirements.

The psychometric qualities of the tool have been investigated and published. We also investigated whether physicians’ performance improved after receiving performance feedback, in particular when the assessed medical specialists and their assessors did not see eye to eye. Read the results in the publication here. The INCEPT instrument is discussed in the broader context of professional performance assessment in the PhD dissertation of Mirja van der Meulen.