Almost one-third of physician executives say serious problems with disruptive behavior by doctors erupts in their organization on either a monthly or a weekly basis, a pattern that underscores a growing concern within the profession, according to a new national survey.
What's more, the survey, conducted by the American College of Physician Executives, shows that about 70% of respondents reported that problems with physician behavior nearly always involves the same doctor, over and over again.
"This has been a chronic problem that is acutely getting much worse," according to a comment from one of 1,627 physician executives who responded to the survey. "The stress of our jobs is increasing due to the decrease in reimbursement for professional activities, increasing regulatory requirements and severe financial constraints placed upon hospitals."
The results of the survey are included in a special series of articles in the September/October issue of The Physician Executive, a medical-management journal published by the 10,000-member ACPE, based in Tampa, Fla.
The authors of the study said executives must take firm disciplinary measures against disruptive or abusive doctors, coach physicians on appropriate behavior, and mediate problems between doctors, nurses and other staff.
About 57% of the respondents said problem behavior among doctors involved nurses or physician assistants.