Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Why Doctors Get Away With It

I remember a big deal a few years ago when Britney Spears or some other celebrity went to a hospital and when they looked at the electronic medical record chart views, they found that something like 70 different people had looked at her chart, so they went through and determined which were legit and which were the "looky-loos".

I remember hearing that a lot of ancillary staff and a few nurses were fired, but none of the doctors.

Just today, I was reading on a story on a forum about some medics that lost their license when doing a c-section with step-by-step guidance by a physician on a peri-mortum woman.  The physician was reprimanded, but nothing more.

Nurses like to tell stories like this because it makes us feel like victims, and here in the United States, there is no more prestigious status to aspire to than to be a member of the Victim Class.  But why is it that doctors can get away with so much?

Well, the stats that Whitecoat found paint a pretty clear picture.  A huge study of 13,500 adults found that more than 87% of patients choose a hospital based on what doctor is on staff there.  So even though some doctors act like large gluteal clefts, management will still bend to their whims and personality deficiencies quirks because they know where business is coming from.  Certainly not from being a "top 100" hospital*.

So, fellow nurses, next time you want to complain about that jerk of an ENT surgeon, think about how many patients you bring to the hospital, and you'll get a good idea about which side the hospital is going to take.

*  Speaking of which, how is it possible that every one of the 4000+ hospitals in the United States are "top 100" hospitals?  I didn't take much math (why do you think I went into nursing?), but something doesn't seem to be quite right with that algebra.


E.J. said...

Good post. We usually get the line that the docs aren't hospital employees. Apparently taking away admitting privileges is a complex process compared to handing a pink slip to an employee - or that's what we're told. Luckily, I work with great docs for the most part.

Disciplinary action against licenses and certifications is always a tricky subject. In the case you mention, I can easily see where that would happen. In most states, totally separate organizations would discipline the doctor and the medics.

Curdie said...

Would you link to the forum post about that c-section? But only if it is easy for you to find again, of course.

Braden said...

Here's the comment

Curdie said...

Hmmmm, not many details. I'm wondering if it was a gunshot wound or head trauma or what. I can't imagine any woman whose body has just turned from a life support to a tomb wouldn't want her baby saved if possible. Unless I'm imagining the scenario incorrectly, I'm sure the family was grateful to those paramedics. I don't think the doctor or the paramedics should have been discipled.