Pennsylvania patient safety group identifies 40+ bullying incidents in 2 years

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority identified 44 instances of workplace bullying among healthcare professionals in an analysis of events reported in the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System database from July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2016.

Of the bullying incidents, 25 fell in the miscellaneous category, 12 were error related, five were related to complications, one was related to medication error and another was related to a transfusion error. Thirty-four of the events involved verbal abuse and 32 involved intimidating behaviors.

The study's authors suggest workplace bullying in the healthcare setting can interfere with patient care by obstructing communication among providers.

"Forty-four reported bullying events between healthcare staff indicates that the existing dialogue about workplace bullying should continue," said Ellen Deutsch, MD, medical director for the Authority. "There are applicable strategies that facility leadership can put in place to empower employees through education, accountability and enforcement."

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