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 from the nurses, doctors, technician and other healthcare workers by issuing sanctions against them, so that it does not create unsafe conditions for the patient.
But doubts have been raised about credibility of the rules in 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 about administration’s ability fairly to sanction any erring medic might deter the staff member to report abusive behavior, violation, safety lapse, which might seriously undermine the safety of 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 taken. 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 address them effectively.
- The administration should encourage the staff member to speak up against any disruptive behavior that impedes or threatens the patient care. Instead of maintaining silence, the healthcare worker should speak up against any form of incompetence, violation of safety mistakes and abusive behavior of his or her co-worker.
- The administration should back any worker who points out any violation and take appropriate steps to sanction the person who has resorted to abusive behavior with the patient or other staff member 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 enhances patient safety.
The Joint Commission regulations pertaining to disruptive behavior and social influence should form the backbone of the two pronged approach to effectively deal with this growing menace in the healthcare industry and ensure protection of the patient from abuse due to disruptive behavior.
The social influence should be used to effectively counter disruptive behavior at healthcare facility.
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