Manage Disruptive Behavior in Staff at the Workplace

Our Systematic Process helps you manage disruptive behavior to avoid potential crises.

Do You Have Physicians or Other Clinicians Using Any of These Behaviors?

  • Outbursts of anger

  • Disrespectful or demeaning behavior towards staff, others

  • Difficulty in working collaboratively with staff or others

  • Inappropriate touching, sexual or otherwise

  • Throwing instruments or charts

  • Profane or disrespectful language

  • Consistently not following safety procedures such as Time Out or pre-procedure checklist

  • Criticizing hospital staff in front of patients or other staff

  • Sexual comments or innuendo

  • Negative comments about another physician’s care

  • Boundary violations with staff or patients

  • Comments that undermine a patient’s trust in a physician or the hospital

  • Inappropriate chart notes, e.g., criticizing a patient’s hospital treatment

  • Unethical or dishonest behavior

  • Racial or ethnically oriented jokes

  • Failure to respond to repeated calls

  • Inappropriate arguments with patients, families

  • Poor response to corrective action

Why Not Manage the Problem and
Avoid Responding to a Crisis?

Physicians and other clinicians with these behaviors are very difficult to deal with, so we give them the benefit of the doubt, and the behavior continues. This leads to an unorganized, “crisis” method of dealing with disruptive behavior. Where there is no systematized, written, proactive approach designed to minimize liability and increase the chances for a positive outcome, a crisis frequently ensues. By working with our carefully designed procedures for identifying, intervening with, evaluating, supporting, and monitoring disruptive physicians, you can ensure a positive outcome.

Successful organizations don’t let the sense that “it couldn’t happen here in our fine institution with our excellent physicians” keep them from managing the problem before it becomes a crisis. Our systematic process will eliminate all of your fears of engaging in a “witch hunt,” having to deal with runaway legal liability, and not knowing how to proceed or what to do next.

Our Expert in Disruptive Physician Behavior,
Dr. Kent Neff

Dr. Neff has 30 years experience working with hospitals, health systems, medical groups, professional associations, state physician health programs, and professional licensing boards regarding physician health and wellness.

He specializes in successfully resolving disruptive behavior among clinicians. Areas of emphasis include patient safety, transforming organizational culture, effective team communication, group facilitation, mediation, and conflict resolution.

Dr. Neff is a noted lecturer and workshop leader throughout North America. He frequently conducts widely-acclaimed seminars on influencing physician behavior, establishing respectful workplaces, and managing change.

His work rests on a solid foundation as a psychiatrist and multiple leadership positions designing and implementing physician assistance committees, professional assessment programs, and serving as the Chief of Psychiatry at a large metropolitan medical center.

Our Expert in Disruptive Behavior, Dr. Kent Neff is Experienced in Adroitly Handling Disruptive Behavior Associated with, Among Other Factors:

  • Developmental issues

  • Psychiatric disorder

  • Physical illness

  • Litigation stress.


Over the last 30 years, Dr. Neff has developed a successful process for identifying and managing these disruptive practitioners in all kinds of health care settings. The process is confidential, highly respectful, collaborative, and results oriented. He interviews key administrators, physicians, and staff to articulate the problem behaviors clearly. He also engages the physician/clinician to get his or her side of the issue, while at the same time educating the practitioner about the need for respectful behavior. This is all done in the framework of patient safety and patient care.


Dr. Neff orchestrates an intervention with the physician and assists in determining an appropriate rehabilitation plan. He works closely with medical and other clinical leaders and administrators at every stage of the process and trains them to manage similar situations in the future. His solutions are practical, workable, and behaviorally oriented. Dr. Neff emphasizes respect for the practitioner as a person, while making it clear that the inappropriate behavior must cease. Despite the difficulties involved for the identified practitioners, they have demonstrated a remarkable acceptance of this process. This approach has proven to be most effective in getting their attention so they can begin to see that their behavior is a problem.

As He Expertly Manages Your Disruptive Physician Issue, Dr. Neff Uses the Following Guidelines and Principles:

  • Create a respectful and safe process for all concerned

  • Establish a formal behavioral guideline

  • Be confidential at all stages

  • Plan carefully and manage every stage

  • Be fair and supportive in orientation

  • Use objective data presented in nonjudgmental terms

  • Be “Hard” on the problem behavior, “Soft” on the physician

  • Impose consequences appropriate to the situation

  • Stay “Informal” and non-adversarial as long as possible

  • Use careful, ongoing follow-up and monitoring of the physician


Dr. Neff has experience with:

  • State medical licensing boards

  • Large and small medical specialty groups

  • Hospitals of all types and sizes

  • Nursing units and other departments in hospitals & medical groups

Contact LifeWings

Our team of experts is excited to talk to you about how we can work together to get dramatic, sustainable results and ROI for your improvement projects.

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