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Robert Haussmann


Medical errors are the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S.. The problem is timely recognition and management of inappropriate healthcare worker behaviors that lead to intimidation and loss of staff focus, eventually leading to errors. The purpose of this qualitative modified Delphi study was to seek consensus among a panel of experts in hospital risk management practices on the practical methods for early detection of inappropriate behaviors among hospital staff, which may be used by hospital managers to considerably mitigate the risk of medical mishaps. High reliability theory guided the research process, utilizing the conceptual framework of fair and just culture patient safety model. A single research question asked what level of consensus exists among hospital risk management experts as to the practical methods for early detection of inappropriate behavior among hospital staff, which managers may use to ultimately mitigate the risk of preventable medical mishaps. This study included nonprobability purposive sampling (n=34) and 3 rounds of questionnaires. Consensus was reached on 8 factors: setting expectations, developing a culture of respect, holding staff accountable, enforcing a zero-tolerance policy, confidentiality of reporting, communicating expected behavior, open communication, and investigating inappropriate behaviors. The implications for positive social change include a better understanding of inappropriate behaviors among healthcare workers as well as the potential to minimize its negative impacts and improve patient safety in healthcare organizations.