Home >

What Can I do About Disruptive Physician Conduct?

Question

Disruptive physician conduct has become a concern at our facility. Have you encountered any methods or practices that have proven successful regarding this issue?

Answer

I have several suggestions:

  • Involve physicians on the Service Teams where appropriate.
  • Ask physicians to model behavior consistent with your organization’s standards of behavior and sign a written copy detailing the standards as employees do.
  • Recognize those physicians who model expected behavior, thus making it more uncomfortable for those who don’t. Also, the chief of staff must make some hard decisions regarding appropriate sanctioning of physicians.
  • If you have a policy to sanction physicians for medical record policies, consider doing the same with standards of performance and core values.
  • If your organization uses 360 peer reviews, solicit input from staff for 360s for physicians. The topics rated on the nurse/staff survey include: treats staff with respect and collegial attitude; documents in a timely fashion and compliant with department policies; gives staff proper notice for project completion; recognizes staff efforts; resolves conflicts in a private setting and with confidentiality; arrives on time to OR, practice site; responsive to staff needs/requests; communicates plan of care clearly; educates staff re: new treatment, equipment, and so forth.

When an organization asks a disruptive physician to leave, you know it is committed to change. But it’s equally important to recognize the other 90 percent or more of physicians who are very supportive of the journey from good to great.