University of West Florida?
Case: Wilmington General Hospital v. Manlove
Mr. and Mrs. Manlove were concerned about their 4-month-old son, being that he was very ill and decide to take him to the hospital. They took their son to Dr. Hershon, the primary physician, because the baby had a high fever, had not been sleeping for a few days, and had developed diarrhea (Perry & Thompson, 2017). Dr. Hershon, saw the infant in the period of January 4th – January 6th, he and another doctor prescribed medication for the infant, but he was still not recovering (Perry & Thompson, 2017). Mr. and Mrs. Manlove decide to take their son to the hospital a third time although both primary physicians are off duty. They proceeded to speak to a nurse, who tells them she is unable to help with the infant, being that his primary doctors are out of office and suggests they bring him in the following morning (Perry &Thompson. 2017). Because of not being treated, the Manlove’s 4-month-old son died and they claimed the hospital could have offered help for their son, even if his doctors were not available (Perry ;Thompson, 2017).
Should the hospital be held accountable and were they negligent? Should the nurse have treated the infant although the primary doctors were absent?
The court denied the summary of judgment and hospital appeals.
In this case the court had to look at the big picture when it came the hospital being considered a public or private practice. The plaintiff, Mr. ; Mrs. Manlove felt as though the hospital was negligent in the case of their child because care was refused and assumed the hospital should be held responsible for the infant’s death (Perry & Thompson, 2017). They brought their child to be treated and helped, however the nurse was following protocol and the rules that were set by the hospital in situations like this. Wilmington General Hospital, the defendant, denied claims that their organization should be held accountable for the death being that the nurse was clear in her actions and stating why she could not take the child for treatment (Perry & Thompson, 2017). However, further investigation proved that Wilmington General Hospital, was a private practice but could still be held responsible for not treating the 4-month-old (Perry & Thompson, 2017). The court went on to look at the rule the hospital had in place, that if a patient is under a primary physician they were not allowed to give treatment and determining whether the nurse right in her decision (Perry & Thompson, 2017). The nurse in this case was following protocol however, the interne should have been called to look at the infant. It had been three days that this had went on, by just stating his time frame of sickness and that he was still running a high fever should have given a sign of an emergency. Once the interne was called, he/she should have assessed the baby and decided based upon the findings. In this case, although the hospital was private, it was still negligent to deny treating a patient without assessing them first and offering treatment to ease the symptoms that were present.
Negligence today unfortunately is still a big problem whether it is through a private or public organization. An organization can be held accountable for their actions, decisions, and protocol that may have harmed a patient or caused death. As a healthcare administrator, it would be important to prevent things like this from happening in the future. If another case were to arise like this, it would be vital to have a meeting with everyone involved and review the situation and how we keep it from happening again. It would be a priority to evaluate the situation and follow the rules of the practice while keeping patients’ needs in mind. For example, in a case like this the nurse followed the rule without assessing the infant and he died of bronchial pneumonia (Perry ; Thompson, 2017). If the nurse would have just evaluated or called the interne, it is possible they could have caught the more serious issue at hand and dealt with it at that time. It could have been a preventable cause that could have resulted in a different outcome. It is significant to keep patients needs and the quality of care they receive at the forefront. A patient that is brought into a hospital is seeking care and is expecting to be treated. The outcome of this case as a healthcare manager could be stressful being that the organization is being accused of negligence. However, it would be important to keep moving forward and push to keep patient safety in line with hospital policy and expectations.
Case: Helling v. Carey
Dr. Carey, an ophthalmologist, also the defendant in the case has been treating Ms. Helling, the plaintiff, periodically for about a decade. Helling was given contact lenses in her first visit to Dr. Carey and complained of irritation later, which was resolved at the time (Perry ; Thompson, 2017). Five years later at another consolation, Helling was still complaining of the contact lenses and Dr. Carey at that time performed a pressure test (Perry ;Thompson, 2017). It was with this test that the plaintiff was diagnosed with glaucoma and was upset that it had not been discovered sooner. The plaintiff filed a complaint stating that Dr. Carey was negligent in not performing the test sooner (Perry ; Thompson, 2017). Ms. Helling had already begun to lose vision and it had not been treated for a whole decade. Dr. Carey’s defense was that under his practiced field they normally do not do pressure tests on patients under the age of 40 because glaucoma is not common at that age (Perry & Thompson, 2017). However, the plaintiff was required to be assessed after the multiple complaints of discomfort and irritation that repeatedly occurred.
Should Dr. Carey have performed the pressure test sooner? Should Dr. Carey be held accountable for the vision loss of Ms. Helling? Was this truly a form of negligence by the test not being administered?
The plaintiff appealed to the court and judgment was affirmed. The plaintiff petitioned court for review and it was granted.
In this case, it was to determine whether the defendant should be held liable for not finding the glaucoma sooner. Dr. Carey stood by the fact that he was doing what was normal under his profession, which was not to automatically administer the test because of the age of the patient (Perry & Thompson, 2017). Ms. Helling was under 40 years of age which puts her in the category of not likely to get glaucoma because of that. People who are over 40 are more likely to be diagnosed with glaucoma and the margin is larger of finding out sooner. Although, the plaintiff was under 40, the doctor still should have done the test being that he had knowledge in his profession (Perry & Thompson, 2017). He would have been able to detect the glaucoma way sooner and begun treatment to relieve the irritation and pressure that Ms. Helling was experiencing (Perry & Thompson, 2017). If the test would have been performed in a timely manner, most of the vision loss could have possibly be prevented. Because Dr. Carey was instilled to stay in the norm of his profession a patient was put at risk and was affected permanently. The court reviewing this case again truly showed that the defendant was acting in conventional procedure of treatment. Instead of acquiring about his patient and treating her according to her differences, she was treated by her age group instead of a patient with a problem that showed signs of glaucoma. The defendants were negligent because the plaintiff’s blindness could have been prevented by administering a simple test at any time during the decade (Perry ; Thompson, 2017).
In this case, negligence was present, and a patient was affected dramatically because of standard procedure. It is important to treat patients with equal knowledge that it is a possibility for younger generations to have certain diagnoses or diseases as well. It is not appropriate to assume a patient care based on the age of that patient. Although, many professions have standard procedures that they follow, this case is a prime example of why certain procedures should extend to all patients. As a healthcare administrator, this case applies to the work and managerial aspect because of the standard procedure that was followed that left the plaintiff blind. Administrators will deal with procedures and policies on a daily bases no matter where they are employed. A case like this could be prevented in the future by discussing the issue of why only certain procedures should be administered to a certain age group. Some procedures should extend outward to all ages being that things are always changing in the medical field. For example, in this case because the plaintiff was under 40 she was not given the pressure test, but instead was treated as if her contacts were the problem. If the pressure test standard procedure would have extended to under 40-year-olds as well the doctors would have been able to diagnose Ms. Helling and save her vision in addition. It is important to provide all patients with quality care that they can trust in and know that they are being assessed fairly.
Perry, J.E. ; Thompson, D.B. (2017). Law and ethics in the business of health care. St. Paul:
West Academic Publishing.