Professionalism Program at Penn Medicine

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About PPPM

What is the Professionalism Program at Penn Medicine (PPPM) and Why is it Important?

The Professionalism Program at Penn Medicine (PPPM) works directly with physicians and health care organizations and their leadership to create and promote a “culture of professionalism” in the workplace.

Professional behavior is the cornerstone for a safe, productive, and collegial health care workplace.  How well physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals comport themselves with patients, staff, and their colleagues is critical.  When these relationships go awry, patient safety, outcomes, and satisfaction suffer, and workplace morale erodes.  Building and maintaining a “culture of professionalism” in the health care environment, based on mutual respect, creates a safe and welcoming workplace and helps limit disruptive behaviors among health care professionals.

An Added Incentive to Act

Effective January 1, 2009, The Joint Commission instituted a new Leadership standard (LD.03.01.01) requiring each hospital or organization seeking accreditation to establish a code of conduct defining acceptable, disruptive and inappropriate behaviors and to create and implement a process for managing disruptive and inappropriate behaviors.

The Joint Commission recognized that professional behavior and patient safety are inextricably linked: “Intimidating and disruptive behaviors can foster medical errors, contribute to poor patient satisfaction and to preventable adverse outcomes, increase the cost of care, and cause qualified clinicians, administrators, and managers to seek new positions in a more professional environment.” Behaviors that undermine a “culture of safety” in the health care workplace may appear at any organizational level and assume various forms - verbal or physical threats, intimidation of co-workers, condescending behavior, use of profane or disrespectful language, and/or outbursts of anger, among other manifestations.

PPPM’s team of experienced medical professionals has the specialized expertise and insight necessary to address issues associated with disruptive behavior and to create a “culture of safety” in the workplace.

[The Joint Commission, “Behaviors that undermine a culture of safety,” Sentinel Event Alert, 40: July 9, 2008.]