Comments: Contextualizing Disruptive Behavior in Health Care as a Conflict Management Challenge

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John    04/14/09
From Fierce Health Care 04 14 09
Two prominent organizations in the healthcare professional arena--the American College of Physician Executives and the American Organization of Nurse Executives--have developed a new set of policies, online classes and information designed to improve relationships between providers and decrease disruptive behavior. The politics include conflict-management training and "no tolerance" policies regarding disruptive behavior by nurses and physicians. The idea, of course, is to improve working relationships--which, in our experience, have been known to see some spectacular flameouts when nurses confront doctors over hospital policies such as pre-flight surgical checks. The new rules are in response to the Joint Commission's new standards, which went into effect Jan. 1 of this year. The Joint Commissions rules that hospitals must take steps to address disruptive behavior. The policies have raised a fair amount of resentment from physicians, who have argued that because terms were poorly defined, the new rules could subject them to meritless disciplinary actions.

Bryan  Hanson, Omaha NE   02/26/09
A very timely article John. The health care arena is rapidly becoming an area of interest for many conflict resolution practitioners. Health care systems must understand the high costs due to disruptive behaviors amongst their professional staff and the issues related to the lack of dialogue between the health care organization and their customers. JCAHO, the accredidation board for health care systems, has mandated that their must be initiatives that deal with "disruptive behaviors" to meet accredidation requirements. This is a step in the right direction and will hopefully open up many of the doors you speak about for conflict resolution practitioners to get involved.