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Less tolerance for bad-tempered doctors

Hospitals are showing less tolerance for doctors who get angry with hospital staff and patients. In the past, administrators have shrugged off bad behavior as simply a by-product of too much stress and too little sleep. However, there are a growing number of patient deaths and surgical errors that cost hospitals money. Known as the Joint Commission, the group that accredits hospitals has recommended zero tolerance for bad behavior from physicians.

One surgeon flew into a rage in the operating room when an instrument was loaded incorrectly. The surgeon slammed the instrument down and broke a surgical technician's finger. After the incident, the surgeon was referred to a course in anger management. In another case, the patient was put at risk. An ICU nurse felt the patient was aspirating, which means food or vomit is being inhaled into the lungs, and called the doctor. Not only did the doctor refuse to act; he also verbally abused the nurse. The patient had in fact aspirated, aspiration pneumonia developed and the patient died.

These types of incidents are costly because they drive nurses away from the profession. This behavior contributes to an already critical nursing shortage. In addition, it also opens hospitals up for lawsuits from employees who feel harassed, and patients who feel they didn't receive the proper standard of care.

Errors that may be the fault of doctors can cause anguish for patients and their families. If individuals feel that errors caused major complications or even death, they may want to allow a Colorado medical malpractice lawyer to review the cases. The lawyer may recommend a pathway to a settlement that takes into account care expenses as well as pain and suffering.

Source: Huffington Post, "Hospitals Crack Down On Tirades By Angry Doctors," Sandra G. Boodman, March 5, 2013

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