Physicians who intimidate or berate caregivers are contributing to medication errors by reducing the likelihood that nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals will act on concerns about orders, according to a survey of 2,099 healthcare professionals by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. At least once in the past year, 40% of respondents with concerns about the safety of a medication assumed the prescription was correct rather than bring the matter up with a physician or other prescribing clinician with a reputation for reacting with intimidation. And when they did express concerns, 49% said they felt pressured to dispense or administer the medication regardless. Often, the memory of past confrontations was threat enough -- nearly half of respondents said past experiences with intimidation have altered how they handle questions or clarifications. The consequences: 7% of respondents said they were involved in a medication error "in which intimidation clearly played a role," according to the institute.
Hot-head docs create a climate for errors
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