CPSO Events Archive › 14/11/07
“Professions and the pursuit of transparency: two cases of professional involvement”
Health care and other professional services are increasingly pressured to open up to outside scrutiny through public performance indicators, audits, and other transparency techniques that challenge professional autonomy. Earlier research is focused on professional resistance and sometimes decoupling in response to such reforms. This paper investigates two cases from Swedish health care where professionals actually became actively involved in examining and representing their own activities – the introduction of accreditation at a hospital laboratory and the demands for public reporting of national quality registries. The professionals’ involvement took the form of translation carried out in networks, driven by their interest to legitimise and develop professional work, but also restrained by some suspicion and resistance. The outcome in both cases was somewhat paradoxical, combining intensified external inspection with maintained professional control over evaluation criteria.