Joint Commission Issues Sentinel Event Alert on Disruptive Behavior


The Joint Commission has issued a Sentinel Event Alert (the ?Alert?) that recognizes intimidating and disruptive behavior as a widespread problem in hospitals with serious negative effects on the delivery of care. (See ?To assure quality and to promote a culture of safety,? the Alert provides that, ?health care organizations must address the problem of behaviors that threaten the performance of the health care team.? (Emphasis added.)

The Joint Commission requires hospitals to implement a Leadership standard to prevent and police disruptive behavior, effective January 1, 2009. Implementation of the new Leadership standard will require a code of conduct, which must define acceptable and prohibited behaviors, and a disruptive behavior management plan. In the Alert, the Joint Commission also enumerates 11 separate suggested actions for preventing and dealing with inappropriate behavior of professionals.

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