Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bad Behavior Leads to Medical Mistakes

It is well established that surveys of hospital staff members "blame badly behaved doctors for low morale, stress and high turnover." Now, "recent studies suggest that such behavior contributes to medical mistakes, preventable complications and even death."

One survey of health care workers "found that 67 percent of respondents said they thought there was a link between disruptive behavior and medical mistakes, and 18 percent said they knew of a mistake that occurred because of an obnoxious doctor." Another "found that 40 percent of hospital staff members reported having been so intimidated by a doctor that they did not share their concerns about orders for medication that appeared to be incorrect. As a result, 7 percent said they contributed to a medication error." Dr. Peter B. Angood, chief patient safety officer at the Joint Commission, the nation's leading independent hospital accreditation agency, said that "a hostile environment erodes cooperation and a sense of commitment to high-quality care," which "increases the risk of medical errors." Read more.

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