PCMS_Philadelphia_Medicine_Spring2017 - 36
p h i l a m e d s o c .org
"LIFEGUARD" DEVELOPS CLINICALLY
By: Marcia A. Lammando, RN, BSN, MHSA
The heightened awareness of behaviors that may negatively impact
the culture of safety has led to health care organization development
of internal processes to actively address these workplace concerns.
These issues that run the gamut of dealing with colleagues whose
behaviors and habits, such as repeated outbursts of anger directed
at patients and co-workers, bullying, micromanaging and acting
entitled, to name a few, disrupt workflow.
development of a behavioral assessment approach coined as "clinically informed triage." As the word triage suggests, this assessment
process allows for a methodology to quickly analyze and dissect the
circumstances leading to and contributing to the unprofessional
behavior and provide a directive for change. Suggestions for remediation following clinically informed triage may include education,
cognitive behavior therapy, leadership and professional coaching,
and monitoring of the individual to ensure success.
Unprofessional behaviors produce a variety of problems. Organizations have increasing obligations to all individuals involved: the
In some cases, the more in-depth traditional assessment is needed.
physician, staff and patients, too. LifeGuard created the clinically Clinically informed triage certainly does not disregard the traditional
informed triage to address these behaviors.
approach to professionalism assessments. In fact, in situations
patterns of disruptive behaviors are identified or concerns
LifeGuard, a program of the non-profit Foundation of the Pennrelated
to personality, psychiatric or substance abuse disorders
sylvania Medical Society, helps physicians and their employers when
through the clinically informed triage process, the
a situation arises that a physician's medical knowledge, clinical skills,
of assessment is employed to provide a more
or health status are called into question. LifeGuard is a resource
the individual's behavior and the potential
for the physician or other referring entities. LifeGuard's pathways,
lead to the behavioral issues.
inclusive of recommended remediation, are uniquely tailored to
the individual needs and specialty of each physician.
Coupled with the ever-increasing pressures of medicine and
empowerment of the clinical team rightfully demanding a respectful
work environment, unprofessional behaviors are simply no longer
tolerated. However, in many instances, this is not an easily tackled
Once the internal processes within the organization have been
exhausted, what are the next steps in dealing with these behaviors?
How do organizations turn for help with patterns of disruption?
Traditional approaches may include an exhaustive review of the
individual's past family and social history. Then a neuropsychological
and psychiatric evaluation is performed which includes collection
of a significant amount of data related to the specific behaviors and
the effect of those behaviors in the workplace.
These evaluations can be costly, time-consuming and in some
situations, result in unwarranted negative labeling of the individual.
Not every situation related to unprofessional behavior may require
As medicine has had to respond to changes in a more efficient
and rapid fashion, LifeGuard has answered a similar need with the
LifeGuard has developed this innovative approach to answer the
need for cost-effective and time-efficient professionalism assessments.
LifeGuard's approach provides a proactive assessment in those
situations when attempting to rapidly analyze a professionalism
concern; returning, when appropriate, the individual to the work
place with a newly acquired understanding of his or her behaviors,
how those behaviors affect co-workers and patients, and tools to
deal with triggers and stressors to eliminate unprofessional responses.
The LifeGuard Mission
LifeGuard strives to provide comprehensive clinical competency
assessments tailored to the individual needs of health care professionals. LifeGuard also develops individualized recommendations
for remediation (as applicable) based on deficiencies identified
through the assessment process or as required by a state licensure
board or a federal corporate integrity agreement.
We aim to facilitate higher performing physicians, improved
patient safety, and quality of medical care provided through
carefully customized programs and individual case management.
Please contact LifeGuard for more information about our professionalism assessment and "clinically informed triage"
at 717-909-2590. See our website for other offerings including the Controlled Substance & Opioid Prescribing Educational
Program now accepting 2017 registration at www.lifeguardprogram.com.
36 Philadelphia Medicine : Spring 2017