DDHA 8600: The Disruptive Physician and Staff Privileges

Dr. Stein is a cardiologist who started working for your hospital about 7 years ago. Several patients have commended Dr. Stein’s work and have indicated their pleasure and happiness to have him on board as one of their doctors. He has indeed delivered exemplary care, however, whenever new policies or changes to routine procedures are implemented, you can always count on Dr. Stein to stir up trouble. In fact, when a major hospital-wide initiative was implemented to reduce patient risk and enhance patient safety, Dr. Stein dramatically opposed the new initiative and stated that as a physician, he should only be concerned about treating the main concern and health presentation of the patient, and that the other staff assisting him, such as nurses, should be responsible for patient safety. He repeatedly stated that he had too much to do and should not be concerned with whether a patient falls or slips.

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Not surprisingly and although somewhat problematic, within the past year, you have noticed that Dr. Stein has only recorded visiting and practicing hours at your hospital without any indication that he has privileges elsewhere. A new initiative that has just been passed by the board will require all physicians to complete patient safety training and you already know that Dr. Stein will challenge the request for mandatory training. You schedule a meeting to meet with Dr. Stein to discuss the implications of this training and indeed, at the meeting, he rejects the training and states that such needless and useless training is a waste of time and that he needs to see his patients. You have warned him that stating such resistance is problematic and is not conducive to a healthy culture at the organization. You also mention that such resistance could mean that his privileges at your hospital might be revoked.

The next day you are alarmed to discover that Dr. Stein has threatened litigation at your threat to revoke his privileges and his lawyer is here to serve additional papers in preparation for Dr. Stein’s suit.

Post an explanation of your approach as a current or future healthcare administration leader on what necessary steps you might implement to manage this situation considering the best interests of the hospital, medical staff, and patient population. Explain your rationale and implications of your decision(s).