Docs and nurses who fail to follow rules about hand hygiene or patient handoffs should lose their privileges for a week, Pronovost and Wachter suggest. They recommend loss of privileges for two weeks for surgeons who who fail to perform a “time-out” before surgery or don’t mark the surgical site to prevent wrong-site surgery.
Worthwhile concept… Hand washing, eliminating white coats, ties and safety checklists save lives. Docs push back against these lists because they *can*. Strange, but true.
Penalties and punitive threats exist in most hospital by-laws. Most penalties, however, are geared towards encouraging the physician to complete medical records (for billing purposes), and dictating reports in a timely manner (for JCAHO and billing purposes).
Perhaps it is time to extend those threats to situations when patient safety protocols are violated.