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CLAIMS Rx DIRECTORY


RISK MANAGEMENT PUBLICATION

Disruptive Patient Behavior: Mitigation and Management Strategies

April 2022

Disruptive patient behavior, particularly violence, is a growing problem that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Difficult or violent patients pose an obvious risk to physician and staff well-being. They also can undermine their own health by impacting the medical decision-making process, and they may be more likely to pursue malpractice lawsuits. The case studies in this month’s publication are based on closed professional liability claims and Risk Management Department calls from insureds. These scenarios provide the basis for risk reduction strategies that can be used to identify catalysts to patient agitation and violence, de-escalate disruptive behavior, and appropriately follow up difficult patient encounters. Ideally, these strategies will mitigate or prevent incidents, so no one gets hurt and patients receive the healthcare they need and reasonably expect.

CASE ONE
Failure to Document Disruptive Behavior

RISK REDUCTION STRATEGIES
Documentation of Disruptive Behavior

CASE TWO
Failure to Use De-escalation Strategies

RISK REDUCTION STRATEGIES
Disruptive Behavior Mitigation and Response

CASE THREE
Termination of Treatment Without Notice for Verbal Abuse

CASE FOUR
Delayed Termination of Treatment After Sexual Harassment

RISK REDUCTION STRATEGIES
Rehabilitation of Disruptive Patients

 

Disruptive Patient Behavior
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