New VHA Research Finds Disruptive Behavior Frequently Occurs in Hospitals and Directly Affects Patient Outcomes
American Journal of Nursing to Publish Study and Raise Awareness
IRVING, Texas, Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- New research conducted by VHA Inc. has found that disruptive behavior between physicians and nurses occurs frequently and affects patient outcomes. As a result of this behavior, these providers report that patients are experiencing pain or prolonged pain, receiving medications or antibiotics late, being mistreated or misdiagnosed, or dying. More than three quarters (86 percent) of nurses who participated in the survey and almost half (49 percent) of physicians said they have witnessed disruptive behavior. Research also revealed that disruptive behavior between nurses is prevalent. Sixty-eight percent of nurses and 47 percent of physicians who responded said they have witnessed disruptive behavior between nurses and from nurses aimed at other hospital staff. "The findings of this new research are alarming and yet not new," said Diana Mason, RN, PhD, FAAN, American Journal of Nursing. "A VHA study conducted in 2002 uncovered disturbing physician behavior towards nurses; however, this new study intensifies the urgency of this issue by revealing what happens to patients, which is sobering and distressing." The study, titled Disruptive Behavior & Clinical Outcomes: Perceptions of Nurses & Physicians, was conducted by Alan H. Rosenstein, M.D., vice president and medical director at VHA, and Michelle O'Daniel, director of member relations for VHA. The study was initiated to assess perceptions of the impact of disruptive behavior on nurse-physician relationships and to determine what physicians, nurses and hospital administrators believe to be its effects on patient care. Surveys were distributed to 50 VHA member hospitals in more than 12 states and results from more than 1,500 participants were evaluated. The survey found that most respondents (94 percent) believe disruptive behavior impacts adverse events, medical errors, patient safety, patient mortality, quality of care and patient satisfaction. Sixty percent of the respondents were aware of potential adverse events that may have occurred from disruptive behavior. Seventeen percent of the respondents reported that they knew of a specific adverse event that occurred as a result of disruptive behavior and 78 percent of the respondents felt the adverse event could have been prevented. "The survey suggests a serious problem within and across disciplines," said Alan H. Rosenstein, M.D. and co-author of the study. "Disruptive behavior needs to be addressed at the organizational level. Hospitals need to invest time and resources into performing self-assessments, increasing staff awareness of the issue, opening lines of communication and creating greater collaboration between peers. If hospitals don't do this, the problem will continue to grow and patients will continue to needlessly suffer. Disruptive behavior also establishes an environment for ineffective and inefficient care." The survey also found that disruptive behavior affects nurses' and physicians' stress levels (94 percent), frustration levels (94 percent), concentration (83 percent), communication (92 percent), collaboration (90 percent), information transfer (87 percent) and workplace relationships (91 percent). Each of these psychological and behavioral variables can directly impact a patient's outcome. For the purposes of the study, disruptive behavior refers to any inappropriate behavior, confrontation or conflict, ranging from verbal abuse to physical and sexual harassment. "The comments we captured from respondents were incredible and they define the issue. Disruptive behavior impacts all levels, including hospital operations and clinical practice," said O'Daniel, co-author of the study. Comments included: * "I have caught myself in the middle of mislabeling specimens after confrontations that have been upsetting." * "Delay in patients receiving medications because RN was afraid to call M.D." * "Communication between obstetrician and delivery nurse was hampered because of physician behavior. Resulted in poor outcome in newborn." * "RNs did not want to call M.D. after the IV ran out. No antibiotic therapy for four days. RN afraid to call M.D. Patient expired." Because of the importance of this study to nurse managers, it is being published simultaneously in Nursing Management, another LWW journal. To learn more about this study, visit http://www.vha.com or http://www.nursingworld.org/ajn/ . About VHA -- VHA Inc. is a national cooperative of leading not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to improve the health of the communities they serve. VHA leverages the collective strength of the membership to improve clinical, operational and financial performance. Through the VHA cooperative, members benefit from resources that assess critical needs and identify best practices to create customized solutions that lower costs and improve clinical quality. As a cooperative, VHA distributes income annually to members based on their participation. Based in Irving, Texas, with 18 offices across the U.S., VHA was named one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" by Fortune in January 2004, for the fifth year in a row. About AJN -- Founded in 1900, The American Journal of Nursing is the official publication of the American Nurses Association and the largest and oldest circulating nursing journal in the world. It is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a unit of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information for professionals and students in medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry. Major brands include traditional publishers of medical and drug reference tools and textbooks, such as Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and Facts & Comparisons, online information services including Ovid Technologies, Medi-Span and SKOLAR, and pharmaceutical information provider Adis International. Contact: Veronica Hunt for VHA Inc. Sandra Godinho 310/659-5380 212/508-9661 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
SOURCE VHA Inc.
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