Bullying in Hospitals: What’s the Solution?

The focus of this year’s Telluride Patient Safety Educational Roundtable is to develop solutions for disruptive behavior in medicine. Some of the required reading for the week examined how other health systems are confronting issues such as bullying in the workplace. Our patient safety and quality experts from Australia, Kim Oates and Cliff Hughes, have shared information on the New South Wales health policy statement on how to combat bullying in the workplace. A second reading, an article by A Lazare & R Levy in Chest (Chest 2011;139;746-751), discusses how humiliation in medicine leads to less than optimal care, and offers strategies on how to apologize for inflicting such an offense so that healing follows.

A post on the physician led blog, KevinMD entitled “Hospital bullying requires everyone to share in the blame and solution” written by Kevin Pho himself, addresses the need discussed this past week in Telluride to change a culture that “perpetuates” bullying. He also agrees that this requires a team effort–not just physicians, but nurses, hospital administrators and medical educators as well.

Social media allows all of us to network with those we may once have never met, learn from teachers whose paths we may have never crossed and affect the lives of others in ways we may never even know. By sharing the solutions, conversations and ideas discussed throughout the week, a patient somewhere may be the ultimate benefactor of this meeting. Isn’t that why we are all here? Continue to share what you have learned in Telluride and what you discover after leaving. Stay connected via the blog, the Telluride Patient Safety Roundtable Alumni page on facebook or through our Twitter hashtag (#TPSER7).