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The link between surgeon behavior and post-op infections

When considering a medical professional to go to for treatment, most California residents look to their technical prowess to determine an outcome. Not many think that bedside manner and unprofessional conduct can have an effect on their health post procedure, but new research demonstrates a link between the two. According to a study published in JAMA Surgery, patients of unprofessional surgeons-surgeons who behave improperly towards their team and colleagues-are more likely to have more complications.

The stereotype of a rude but technically gifted surgeon is common in the public-people seem to accept poor manners from one's surgeon, even though they wont accept it from many other professionals. However, a patient's safety can be threatened because unprofessional behavior can undermine a team's performance.

Researchers analyzed four types of unprofessional behavior-poor or unsafe care, lack of integrity, failure to follow through on professional responsibilities and disrespectful communication. They found that surgeons who had one or more reports of unprofessional behavior in the last 36 months had a 14-16% higher chance of patient complications in the 30 days after the surgery. Complications included post-surgical infections, pneumonia, stroke and even kidney failure.

Researchers claim this can be because the physicians and nurses might be hesitant to speak up if the treating professional is not receptive to them. As a result, the quality of care a patient receives may be compromised.

When a patient gets worse instead of better following a hospital procedure and the worsened condition is due to the treating medical professional's actions or negligence, it might be possible to hold them accountable. Introducing evidence of unprofessional behavior might bolster one's medical malpractice claim and an experienced attorney can discuss one's options with them.

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