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Group tries to quell doctors' bad behavior

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BOSTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- A U.S. hospitals accreditation group is working to quell doctors' outbursts, which some observers say compromises quality patient care.

The Boston Globe reported Sunday that The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, says swearing, yelling, and throwing objects are offensive to doctors' co-workers and also increase the likelihood of medical errors.

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The independent Joint Commission, based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., is requiring hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities to adopt "zero-tolerance" policies by Jan. 1, including codes of conduct to encourage staff to report bad behavior.

Dr. Peter Angood, chief patient safety officer for the commission, said the typical attitude in healthcare facilities is "let's not irritate the physicians or else they're going to take their patients to another hospital."

The Joint Commission cites one survey that found some nurses and pharmacists had avoided consulting with a prescribing physician because they did not want to interact with the particular doctor, the newspaper reported.

"The No. 1 issue in the errors that occur is bad communication," Angood said. "The industry needs to put a stop to this."

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