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Professionalism and patient outcomes

Jul. 7, 2022, 11:00 AM

by Paul Govern

William Cooper, MD, MPH, and colleagues previously reported that patients of surgeons with higher numbers of reports from co-workers about unprofessional behavior are more likely to experience complications, and that patient and family reports about rude and disrespectful behavior can identify surgeons with higher rates of surgical site infections and other avoidable adverse outcomes. 

In a new retrospective cohort study in Annals of Surgery, Cooper, David Spain, MD, and colleagues report that trauma patients who received care from at least one admitting or consulting service with a high proportion of physicians modeling unprofessional behavior were at a 24% increased risk of death or complications.  

The team examined records of 71,046 patients admitted to nine geographically diverse level I trauma centers over a five-year period. High-risk services were defined as teams in the top third with regard to the proportion of physicians with high numbers of patient complaints (leaving these physicians with Patient Advocacy Reporting System® scores above 50).

On the study also from VUMC are Gerald Hickson, MD, Oscar Guillamondegui, MD, MPH, and Henry Domenico, MS. They were joined by investigators at 12 other institutions.

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