Consultant offers leaders guidance on handling sexual harassment

In an interview with HealthLeaders Media, consultant Kate Fenner, PhD, RN, said the public focus on sexual harassment makes it “imperative that executives lead their organizations on this pressing issue.” In her view, hospitals must put clear policies and procedures in place; educate staff, management and board members about harassment; and respond quickly and firmly when harassment occurs. She also recommended having multiple levels of response—from counseling to termination—based on the severity of the incident. “The punishment needs to fit the crime,” she said. Ultimately, she stated, institutions must be able to say,”[A] safe and respectful work environment is as important to us as safe and respectful patient care." (HealthLeaders Media story, 11/8/19)