Joint Commission Alert: Rude Behavior Undermines Safety

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Joint Commission: Rude or disruptive behavior among health care professionals can undermine safety

07/31/08
In an alert posted on July 9, 2008, the Joint Commission warned that boorish behavior and rude interactions among health care professionals threatens patient safety. The alert tracks much of ANA’s advocacy positions opposing bullying and violence in the workplace.

“Intimidating and disruptive behaviors can foster medical errors, contribute to poor patient satisfaction and to preventable adverse outcomes, increase the cost of care, and cause qualified clinicians, administrators and managers to seek new positions in more professional environments. Safety and quality of patient care is dependent on teamwork, communication, and a collaborative work environment. To assure quality and to promote a culture of safety, health care organizations must address the problem of behaviors that threaten the performance of the health care team” (Joint Commission Alert).

The alert is an effort to educate health care professionals about the consequences of their behavior among each other and with patients. It advises professional education, systems to detect and report unprofessional behavior; and a “zero tolerance” policy.

The Commission will require accredited health care organizations to create a code of conduct and a formal process for managing unacceptable behavior, per new standards intended to take effect in 2009.

For additional information on go to NursingWorld Workplace Violence page.

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