nurse using text messaging on her smart phone

A tool using peer messaging to address disrespectful workplace behavior can be successfully used among nurses, a study found.

The Co-Worker Observation Reporting System (CORS) allows users to anonymously report behavior to a trained peer, without involving nursing leadership or human resources unless necessary. Data collected over 10 years shows most people listen to peer criticism and self-correct, according to the tool’s Vanderbilt University developers.

The current study implemented CORS for staff nurses at three medical centers. Researchers examined 590 reports from September 2019 to August 2021, with a total of 1,367 negative behaviors including dispresctful or unclear communication, concerns about medical care, possibly “egregious” errors and more were reported.

While most nurses were willing to use the tool, 92% said they never received a CORS
behavior report themselves.

“The findings of this study really highlight the fact that professionals will respond if we approach them in respectful, nonjudgmental ways,” said study author William Cooper, MD, MPH, whose work was published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.