Safety Gurus: Penalize Doctors Who Don’t Follow the Rules

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.


About hjluks

A busy Academic Orthopedic Surgeon, Digital Strategist, Chief Medical Officer and father... intently and efficiently navigating the intersection of Social Media and Health Care.
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