The JCAHO “Disruptive Physician” Mandate Quietly Implemented

Hospitals and Health Care Organizations nationwide are moving quietly to implement the January 1, 2009 Joint Commission for The Accreditation of HealthCare Organizations requirement for the handling of “disruptive physicians”, whose behavior may impact patient care and interpersonal collaboration.

Physician Well-Being committees and those responsible for mandating these interventions are addressing many of the concerns of physicians. The following are a list of common objections raised by physician groups:

  • Universal objection to psychiatric assessments or psychotherapy for anger, since anger is not a mental disorder and is not listed in the DSM-IV.
  • Objection to substance abuse screening if this is not a part of the complaint.
  • Anxiety over confidentiality issues raised by the use of the 360 degree assessment by some providers of services for “disruptive physicians”. Sending this instrument to colleagues and ancillary staff automatically alerts the recipients that the physician in question is being evaluated for “disruptive behavior”.
  • Suggestions by the Attorneys who represent the physicians that labeling physicians are sometimes used to silence “whistle blowers”.
  • Discomfort in being ordered to participate in any type of group intervention that deals directly with issues involving “disruptive physicians”.

Physician Well-Being Committees are taking the lead in advocating for the empathetic and responsible recognition and examination of these and other issues raised by the new requirements. County, State and Regional Medical Associations are also playing an active role in working to assure that these issues are resolved in a way that protects patient care and reduces medical errors.

Physicians who are exposed to a competently implemented Executive Coaching/Anger Management intervention are demonstrating the effectiveness of intervention for self-awareness, self-control, social- awareness and relationship-management. These results are making it easier for the reduction of resistance, by physicians, to this kind of intervention.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomat, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management
http://www.andersonservices.com/
http://www.aaamp.org
http://www.linkedin.com/in/geoanderson
www.anger-management-resources.org

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