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emPower eLearning: Joint Commission: Adopting the Right Approach to Eradicate Disruptive Behavior from the Health Care System.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Joint Commission: Adopting the Right Approach to Eradicate Disruptive Behavior from the Health Care System.


The Joint Commission has laid down rules and regulations to deal with disruptive behavior of the healthcare workers. The purpose is to control unprofessional behavior of the nurses, doctors, technicians and other healthcare workers by issuing sanctions against them. The aim is to reduce or eliminate completely disruptive behavior and ensure that highest standards in patient safety are met.

But doubts have been raised about credibility of the Joint Commission codes to function properly in an unbiased manner. This is because they can be misused by anybody who wields power and authority, to settle a personal score with fellow team member. Further mere implementation of stricter rules will not be enough to control this problem. The lack of trust in ability of the administration to fairly sanction any erring medic might deter the staff member to report abusive behavior and in process compromise the safety of the patient.

Instead, a more creative approach, which analyses the root cause of this problem and encourages the use of social influence to improve the overall healthcare atmosphere should be adopted. The Joint Commission regulations along with social influence can provide the right solution to this problem of disruptive behavior, which is on rise in the healthcare industry. The basic idea is to make the team members to interact with each other, understand their problems and strive to solve them through a collective discussion. This all can be done by following these steps:

  • The healthcare or hospital administration should accept the responsibility of the abusive incidents whenever they occur, instead of ignoring them. This acknowledgement will provide a greater visibility to the underlying problems and help to address them more effectively.
  • The administration should encourage the staff member to speak up against any disruptive behavior, which impedes or threatens, patient care. Instead of maintaining silence, the healthcare worker should report any form of incompetence, violation of patient safety and abusive behavior of his or her co-worker to the administration.
  • The administration should back any worker who points out any violation and take appropriate steps to sanction the person who has resorted to an abusive behavior with the patient or other staff members, and in process, seriously undermined the safety of the patient. Instead of ignoring, the nurse managers or administrators should respond to escalations effectively through sanctions, so such an act is not repeated by the erring medic in the future.
  • Finally the management should educate the medical staff through training programs on how to effectively use the power of social influence to neutralize escalations at workplace. The aim is to bridge the communication gaps and make the team a closely knit unit so that it provides a safer environment to the patient.

The Joint Commission regulations and the social influence should be integrated together to create an effective strategy, to curb this growing menace in the healthcare industry. This will protect the patients from abusive behavior at healthcare facility and completely eliminate the associated risks.

The use of social influence should be encouraged to deal with disruptive behavior.

Jason Gaya.

Read more at, www.empowerbpo.com

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