Intimidation: A Concept Analysis

Springfield Technical Community College, Amhert, MA, USA.
Nursing Forum 01/2010; 45(1):54-65. DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6198.2009.00162.x
Source: PubMed


Patient safety is being compromised by intimidating communication and ineffective teamwork among healthcare providers. The Joint Commission Update indicates that ineffective communication has been the leading root cause of the majority of sentinel events since 1996. Furthermore, the organizational implementation of policies and procedures for addressing this dangerous situation is now mandated by The Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert. However, in order to consistently identify and address this problem, there must be a clear and universal definition of intimidation.
The purpose of this article is to clarify the definition of intimidation in healthcare settings. Without this clarity, the role of intimidation as a precursor to the occurrence of medical errors will inevitably be obscured. The framework for concept analysis proposed by Walker and Avant is used to explicate the definition, attributes, antecedents, consequences, and cases of intimidation.
Analyzing the extent of the relationship between intimidation and medical errors will provide healthcare organizations and professionals with a foundation for the development of strategies to combat the effects of intimidation on medical errors and patient safety.
The necessity to create a culture of safety in healthcare settings is paramount.

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    • "Support for the staff, and assistance in creating a good working atmosphere, where views and concerns are heard, is important. If unprofessional behaviour occurs, such as intimidation, the reaction to it is important as it can affect performance and compromise safe care (Lamontagne 2010). When adverse events happen there should be a support system for staff to address them (Scholefield 2007). "
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