Disruptive physician behavior has been drawing the attention of lot of people from medical fraternity and the allied parties for years by now.
As per American Medical Association, disruptive behavior comprises of any sort of personal conduct or traits that are detrimental to the very core of the healthcare system, – patient care and respectable working relations with other staff members.
This unexpected passive-aggressive behavior including bullying, abusing, sarcastic remarks can disorient the work environment and negatively influences the health care outcomes. As much as the immediate working environment is affected, the patients are not completely unscathed in such situations.
Of all, the trust which a patient shares with his or her doctor gets affected in such unfavorable disruptive behavior. The situation can get worse if it strains the relationship between the physician and the staff at the receiving end.
If you are at the helm of any medical organization or institute, it’s imperative to take stock of the situation and determine if its enough or not:
How good are the chances that the incident is not misreported? Well, the possibility can’t be denied that it is not in all good faith of the medical profession. Brewing animosity, insecurity or such similar emotions are very much humane.
Do not just jump the gun against the physician.
A one-off incident should not be strike off the previous untarnished track record of the physician. There should be extensive research conducted to get all the details to avert appropriating for all the wrong reasons.
Also, understand that disruptive behavior should not be taken personal. It is not against the leadership or the patient care per se. There can be uncontrollable reasons leading to the untoward behavioral outcome.
Be objective yet make complete assessment of the case to reach the right conclusion.
Incidents such as abusing your staff or shouting profanity in front of patients or otherwise should not be acknowledged in isolation.
Most often, there can be multiple reasons, both personal and professional, that can culminate in such behavioral issues. Dig deeper to find the root cause of the situation.
May be it is better to have an informal talk to get to the bottom of the situation. For instance, some unpreventable situation such as work load, inadequate nurses, supporting staff can cause frustration.
However, if the case is way beyond comprehension, do not delay inviting the attention of the leadership. It is mandatory if the physician in question has a track record of behaving inappropriately in the past.
There is no substitute to honesty. Having well-laid down code of conduct policies that are applicable to each and every employee. Make sure that everyone is versed with the disruptive behavior policies and know how the system works.
It should be noted that lack of transparency on the part of the HR or the management can be very demoralising. In fact, the staff may resist reporting such incidents.
Make sure that the concerned physician is not treated any differently than your nurses or administrators when such incidents are reported. Every employee deserves a fair trial. Allow the accused to present his defense to take suitable course of action.
Do you want more tensions in your work life? Especially if the issue is very much manageable within the staff. Be judicious when to involve your human resource (HR) department.
Having your HR involved who apparently is not that tuned to the real disruptive physician issues would do no good. In fact, it may just escalate the internal friction and may disturb the work environment further.
Having said that you do not have to give any leeway to the physician if he or she has unashamedly violated the code of ethics.
In situations, wherein the internal medical team and the HR is struggling to get to the root cause of the problem, Dr. DeLaRosa and his highly qualified and trained team could provide suitable solutions to address the disruptive behavior disorder amongst physicians.