When medical professionals bully or act in ways that are threatening to other health care providers, patients experience a lower quality of care, a new study found.
The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority studied complaints from July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2016, from medical companies that were sent through the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System. The safety authority found 44 complaints where the perpetrators did things that fit the definition of workplace bullying, which can affect how staff work together and embrace new practices. The authority also found complaints about people performing activities associated with bullying.
Twenty-five out of the 44 events that fit the definition of workplace bullying between medical professionals were classified as "other/miscellaneous," and 12 of them were called mistakes associated with procedures, treatments or tests. Thirty-four of the events involved verbal abuse, while 32 of them involved actions meant to scare.
Those types of actions impede collaboration, verbal communications and the introduction of new practices, the authority found.
The authority also developed a written procedure to keep bullying incidents from escalating.