Four cardiologists in California recently filed a lawsuit against a hospital they claim harassed them and terminated their contract after they took their unresolved patient safety concerns to the county board and the Joint Commission. Echocardiographer Dr Geeta Singh and and Dr Kai Ihnken have been joined by other plaintiffs in filing suit against the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) when their concerns about patient safety, complications and even deaths related to, what these physicians believe was, a systemic failure on the part of hospital administrators to protect patients from unsafe hospital practices. You can read the whole exclusive story about this compelling hospital lawsuit at theheart.org.
Hospitalists are deep in the trenches of hospital care and have the perfect opportunity to see all the good, the bad and the ugly that goes on behind the scenes in patient care. Hospitalists rapidly learn which policies are safe for patient care and which aren't. They are in a perfect position to force a change in the systemic culture of hospital systems they feel are detrimental to patient safety. With the percent of hospitals using hospitalists now at 60% and growing every year, this type of lawsuit is perhaps the start of a new trend in the battle by doctors against unsafe hospital processes and policies that go ignored year after year after year. And remember, you didn't learn about this cutting edge trend in hospitalist medicine at a breakout session of the yearly Society of Hospital Medicine gathering in San Diego last weekend. You had to come to The Happy Hospitalist on Good Friday to learn about this explosive up and coming opportunity to supplement your hospitalist salary.
Who needs the Joint Commission when you have hospitalists and their threats of weekly lawsuits keeping a close eye on all the unsafe hospital policies that place patients in direct harm. One more reason patients should love their hospitalists. We are hospitalists. We are here to help. Are those nurses calling the hospitalist for critical labs because it's just too convenient when they should be calling the ordering physician? Are some doctors being routinely excused from their duties as physicians, as defined by the hospital bylaws, because those doctors make a lot of money for the hospital? Are some policies enforced upon some doctors and some nurses but not others based on the time of day or who's in charge on what day and on what floor?
Don't worry, there are now hospitalists all across America watching at every turn just waiting to document their concerns with every chance they get. And they are more than ready to contact a lawyer (on a contingency basis) with their concerns that go ignored for at least 24 hours. At the end of the day, patient safety is the goal and doctors and hospitals should work together to make that a top priority. Hi. My name is Happy. Glad to meet you. I'm a part time doctor, full time safety hall monitor.