MONDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalist participation in unprofessional behavior is generally low, and is associated with job characteristics, age, and site, according to a systematic review published online May 16 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
To quantify perceptions of, and participation in, unprofessional behaviors, Shalini T. Reddy, M.D., of the University of Chicago, and colleagues conducted an observational study of 77 hospitalists in three academic health centers.
The researchers found that participation in egregious behaviors was less than 5 percent. Having personal conversations in patient corridors, ordering "urgent" tests to expedite care, and making fun of other physicians were the most frequently reported behaviors. Seventy-six percent of the survey variance was explained by four factors: making fun of others, learning environment (e.g., texting during a conference), management of workload, and time pressure. Hospitalists with less clinical time were significantly more likely to make fun of other physicians. Workload management behaviors, such as celebrating a blocked-admission, were more frequently reported by younger hospitalists or those with administrative time. Time-pressure behaviors, such as signing out of work early, were more likely to be reported by hospitalists working the night shift. Learning environment and workload management behaviors varied according to site.
"Interventions to promote professionalism should take institutional culture into account and should focus on behaviors with the highest participation rates," a coauthor said in a statement. "Although this study found that unprofessional behavior was thankfully rare, such behavior is unacceptable in a professional hospital setting and needs to be addressed."
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