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healthcare professional ethics

1. Identify and explain at least three legal considerations.
2. Identify and explain at least three ethical considerations.
3. Identify and explain at least three professional considerations.
4. Identify and explain at least three business and reputational considerations.

You are the Chief Executive Officer at a small non-profit community hospital. In January the area was hit by a large snow storm while you were vacationing in the Bahamas. Many of the hospital staff who provided patient care called out from work on the 3-11 and 11-7 shifts. Despite efforts from the nurse managers to get relief staff, only one nurse agreed to come in. As a result, the patient units were understaffed and health care personnel on day shift were required to remain on their assigned unit until they were relieved from duty.

During the course of this occurrence several patients sustained minor injuries from falls out of bed and one patient was given the incorrect medication, resulting in death. The nurse on duty left the hospital to buy dinner at the corner Wendyâ??s Restaurant.

After one year, the families of these patients sued the hospital on behalf of their deceased relatives, and you are one of the parties mentioned in the suit. The hospital refused liability, stating that: the patients who sustained a fall were awake, oriented and experienced no limitation in mobility; the patient who was given the incorrect medication died not from staff negligence, but from an unidentified allergic reaction to a food substance and had no history of allergies.

Solution Preview

1. One consideration are related to negligence. There is a duty on behalf of health care providers to take steps that ensure the safety of patients, such as taking measures to prevent falls. Health care staff who are not trained or do not possess the knowledge to provide specific aspects of care are also considered negligent. Giving the incorrect medication, whether resulting in death or not is also a form of negligence, as the health care staff should be trained on how to prevent such incidents. The third legal consideration is the number of hours worked by staff on day shift. While they may be required to work until relief arrives, ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses the ethical and legal considerations that surround a situation in a hospital, where the rate of patient falls has increased and some patient deaths are attributed to poor management. The discussion focuses on behavior of health care staff and on suggestions as to how the hospital can improve its performance in key patient care areas.