Perspective: A Culture of Respect, Part I: The Nature and Causes of Disrespectful Behavior by Physicians
A substantial barrier to progress in patient safety is a dysfunctional culture rooted in widespread disrespect. The authors identify a broad range of disrespectful conduct, suggesting six categories for classifying disrespectful behavior in the health care setting: disruptive behavior; humiliating, demeaning treatment of nurses, residents, and students; passive-aggressive behavior; passive disrespect; dismissive treatment of patients; and systemic disrespect.At one end of the spectrum, a single disruptive physician can poison the atmosphere of an entire unit. More common are everyday humiliations of nurses and physicians in training, as well as passive resistance to collaboration and change. Even more common are lesser degrees of disrespectful conduct toward patients that are taken for granted and not recognized by health workers as disrespectful.Disrespect is a threat to patient safety because it inhibits collegiality and cooperation essential to teamwork, cuts off communication, undermines morale, and inhibits compliance with and implementation of new practices. Nurses and students are particularly at risk, but disrespectful treatment is also devastating for patients. Disrespect underlies the tensions and dissatisfactions that diminish joy and fulfillment in work for all health care workers and contributes to turnover of highly qualified staff. Disrespectful behavior is rooted, in part, in characteristics of the individual, such as insecurity or aggressiveness, but it is also learned, tolerated, and reinforced in the hierarchical hospital culture. A major contributor to disrespectful behavior is the stressful health care environment, particularly the presence of "production pressure," such as the requirement to see a high volume of patients.
Available from: Juan García García
- "hostility, apathy, and distrust), and behavioral problems (e.g. aggressiveness, irritability, and feelings of isolation) among others (Jansson-Frojmark & Lindblom, 2010; Leape et al., 2012). At the organizational level, problems can also arise that make it impossible to achieve the objectives for healthcare personnel. "
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ABSTRACT: Nurses are an occupational group with extremely high levels of burnout. The most accepted definition of the burnout syndrome was proposed by Maslach and Jackson, who characterized it in terms of three dimensions: (i) Emotional Exhaustion; (ii) Depersonalization; (iii) Personal Accomplishment. This definition was the basis for the Granada Burnout Questionnaire (GBQ). The objective of this research was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the GBQ and to elaborate an evaluation scale to measure burnout in nursing professionals in Spain. A total of 1,177 nurses participated in this study and successfully completed the GBQ. Evidence of construct validity was verified by cross-validation and convergent validity, and evidence of criteria validity was checked by concurrent validity. Cronbach's alpha was used to measure internal consistency. The results obtained in our study show satisfactory fit values in the confirmatory factor analysis and in the evidence of convergent and concurrent validity. All of the Cronbach alpha values were greater than .83. This signifies that the GBQ has good psychometric properties that are applicable to nurses. For this purpose a scale of T-scores and centiles was created that permitted the evaluation of burnout in Spanish nursing professionals.
Available from: Peter Robert Martin
- "Reduced rates of substance disorder diagnoses in our population may reflect a combination of improved recognition, diagnosis and treatment as well as decreasing stigmatization of addicted physicians. Physician behavior that interferes with the optimal functioning of healthcare teams   can be detrimental to the culture of (clinical) safety . Actions or speech by a physician that demeans, upsets or disrespects others decreases the ability of the clinical team to achieve its intended outcomes . "
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ABSTRACT: We compare findings from 10 years of experience evaluating physicians referred for fitness-to-practice assessment to determine whether those referred for disruptive behavior are more or less likely to be declared fit for duty than those referred for mental health, substance abuse or sexual misconduct.
Deidentified data from 381 physicians evaluated by the Vanderbilt Comprehensive Assessment Program (2001-2012) were analyzed and compared to general physician population data and also to previous reports of physician psychiatric diagnosis found by MEDLINE search.
Compared to the physicians referred for disruptive behavior (37.5% of evaluations), each of the other groups was statistically significantly less likely to be assessed as fit for practice [substance use, %: odds ratio (OR)=0.22, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.10-0.47, P<.001; mental health, %: OR=0.14, 95% CI=0.06-0.31, P<.001; sexual boundaries, %: OR=0.27, 95% CI=0.13-0.58, P=.001].
The number of referrals to evaluate physicians presenting with behavior alleged to be disruptive to clinical care increased following the 2008 Joint Commission guidelines that extended responsibility for professional conduct outside the profession itself to the institutions wherein physicians work. Better strategies to identify and manage disruptive physician behavior may allow those physicians to return to practice safely in the workplace.
Available from: Susan Edgman-Levitan
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ABSTRACT: Creating a culture of respect is the essential first step in a health care organization's journey to becoming a safe, high-reliability organization that provides a supportive and nurturing environment and a workplace that enables staff to engage wholeheartedly in their work. A culture of respect requires that the institution develop effective methods for responding to episodes of disrespectful behavior while also initiating the cultural changes needed to prevent such episodes from occurring. Both responding to and preventing disrespect are major challenges for the organization's leader, who must create the preconditions for change, lead in establishing and enforcing policies, enable frontline worker engagement, and facilitate the creation of a safe learning environment.When disrespectful behavior occurs, it must be addressed consistently and transparently. Central to an effective response is a code of conduct that establishes unequivocally the expectation that everyone is entitled to be treated with courtesy, honesty, respect, and dignity. The code must be enforced fairly through a clear and explicit process and applied consistently regardless of rank or station.Creating a culture of respect requires action on many fronts: modeling respectful conduct; educating students, physicians, and nonphysicians on appropriate behavior; conducting performance evaluations to identify those in need of help; providing counseling and training when needed; and supporting frontline changes that increase the sense of fairness, transparency, collaboration, and individual responsibility.
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