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Friday, October 9, 2015

'Disruptive' doctors rattle nurses, increase safety risks

Jayne O'Donnell and Laura Ungar
USAToday
Originally published September 20, 2015

Here are two excerpts:

Disruptive behavior leads to increased medication errors, more infections and other bad patient outcomes — partly because staff members are often afraid to speak up in the face of bullying by a physician, Wyatt says. That "hidden code of silence" keeps many incidents from being reported or adequately addressed, says physician Alan Rosenstein, an expert in disruptive behavior.

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Most experts estimate that up to 5% of physicians exhibit disruptive behavior, although fear of retaliation and other factors make it difficult to determine the extent of the problem. A 2008 survey of nurses and doctors at more than 100 hospitals showed that 77% of respondents said they witnessed physicians engaging in disruptive behavior, which often meant the verbal abuse of another staff member. Sixty-five percent said they saw nurses exhibit such behavior.

Most said such actions raise the risk of errors and deaths.

About two-thirds of the most serious medical incidents — those involving death or serious physical or psychological injury — can be traced back to communication errors, according to a health care accrediting organization called the Joint Commission. Getting nurses and other medical assistants rattled during surgery can be a big safety risk, Bartholomew says.

The entire article is here.
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