On July 9, 2008, The Joint Commission, the nation’s standards-setting and health care accreditation body, issued a Sentinel Event Alert, which warns that intimidating and disruptive behavior can result in medical errors and adverse outcomes for patients. As a result of these findings, The Joint Commission is introducing new standards, which require accredited health care organizations to create codes of conduct that define acceptable, disruptive and inappropriate behaviors, and to create and implement procedures for managing disruptive and inappropriate behaviors. The new standards, which apply to hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, laboratories, ambulatory care facilities, and behavioral health care facilities in the United States, take effect Jan. 1, 2009.


Reed Smith’s Bethany A. Pelliconi has written an informative article discussing these new standards.