Healthcare Behavior Draws Attention of Joint Commission

The Joint Commission is calling attention to poor behavior from healthcare professionals. The national accrediting body noted that facilities need to be aware of such disruptive or inappropriate behavior because of the potential consequences on patient safety and the quality of care, according to an article printed by the American Medical News.

To further increase attention to the mounting problem, the Commission issued a new set of guidelines that will begin in January next year. The new standard requires that hospital administrators define a set of codes which describe problematic behavior. Furthermore, they are required to develop standards for disciplinary action.

Results from bad behavior include breakdown of communication and teamwork between and among healthcare providers working together. Data previously collected indicates that clinicians are unlikely to question the orders of another provider who is known to employ intimidation tactics, up to forty percent of the time.

The Commission further delineated a series of eleven steps to eliminate inappropriate behavior in healthcare facilities. One key component of such is to provide education for all healthcare professionals. This sets a code by which individuals are expected to model their own behavior in an environment with a zero tolerance policy.

Prior to releasing these guidelines, a sentinel event alert was issued by the Joint Commission. This alert brought attention to this issue and included a number of recommendations about means to address problematic behavior from clinical staff members.

Clinicians have not responded favorably to the new regulations. One concern cited is that policies are often too vague, which results in part from covering a wide range of behaviors. An additional concern is that new regulations can be used inappropriately, such as against clinicians advocating for patients adamantly.

August 12, 2008 Related topics: Trends, Quality, Safety, Errors

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