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Hospital Agency Takes Aim at Hospital Employees Who Behave Badly, Foul Language & Other Behaviors

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Hospital employees who use foul language and other bad behaviors against their colleagues pose a serious threat to patient safety, a U.S. accrediting agency says.

The Joint Commission is proposing new standards that require more than 15,000 accredited organizations to create a code of conduct that defines and manages unacceptable practices. These include ignoring questions; insulting, threatening or intimidating behavior; and speaking in a condescending way, MSNBC reported Wednesday.

These behaviors affect employee morale and could increase the likelihood of medical errors, the commission said.

An industry survey of some 2,000 clinicians found that more than 90 percent said they had been a victim of condescending language. And nearly 60 percent reported being verbally abused or encountering threatening body language, MSNBC said.

Set to take effect Jan. 1, the proposed conduct standards would affect hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, laboratories, ambulatory care facilities and behavioral health facilities nationwide.

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