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The Joint Commission targets the disruptive health care professional

Posted Oct 05 2009 10:03pm

A July 9, 2008 Sentinel Event Alert discusses the problem of behaviors that undermine the “culture of safety.”   From a Joint Commission news release “Health care is a high stakes, pressure packed environment that can test the limits of civility in the workplace…rude language and hostile behavior among health care professionals goes beyond being unpleasant and poses a serious threat to patient safety and the overall quality of care.”   Toward reducing these behaviors which may include (for example) verbal outbursts, physical threats, unwillingness to answer questions or return phone calls the Joint Commission will be implementing (January, 2009) new leadership standards that will require health care organizations to develop codes of conduct that define acceptable compared to disruptive and inappropriate behaviors and to develop a process for managing disruptive and inappropriate behaviors.   The sentinel text can be found at


David S. Smith, M.D., Ph.D.


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