The Washington Post ran an article about a Tel Aviv University study of the effects of physicians’ disruptive behavior on patient safety. As discussed in previous posts, there is a clear link between disruptive behavior among physicians (and other professionals) and negative patient outcomes. The coworkers who are often the target of or witness to disruptive behaviors typically avoid their disruptive colleague. This avoidance is understandable but can significantly break down communications among treatment teams. When the different members and disciplines within a treatment team do not candidly interact with each other bad things happen: nurses don’t confront physicians’ mistakes, wrong-sided surgeries occur, etc. Disruptive behavior must be taken seriously and assertively addressed by leadership.
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