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This article discusses the prevalence of disruptive behavior in the healthcare setting, which is defined as any act that influences a group’s intended outcome. Disruptive behavior often takes the form of angry outbursts and passive aggressive actions, especially in extremely stressful environments, such as emergency rooms. This behavior is often detrimental to the culture of safety and quality healthcare, as well as increases the risk of lawsuits. To combat disruptive behavior, five principles are are offered as guides to promoting professionalism and professional accountability in support of quality team-oriented care, patient safety and, if necessary, legal defense if disruptive colleagues challenge disciplinary interventions. 


Reiter, C. E., Pichert, J. W., & Hickson, G. B. (2012). Addressing behavior and performance issues that threaten quality and patient safety: What your attorneys want you to know. Progress in Pediatric Cardiology, 33(1), 37–45.