Read the following scenario and respond to it as a risk manager.
Mr. And Mrs. Watros came to the Memorial Hospital for the delivery of their first child. While Mrs. Watros was in labor, the couple had to wait for nearly two hours to get a room. During that time, no hospital nurse attended to her. As the waiting room was full of patients, an exhausted Mrs. Watros sat on the floor. Mr. Watros reported this to a nurse. The nurse responded that it was past her shift, and she could do nothing.
These problems were later reported to a physician. The physician said, “It is just the way things go wrong here sometimes. You just have to get used to it.”
After delivery, the nurse carrying the infant slipped. The baby was unharmed. The explanation given was, “there was disinfectant fluid on the floor, which makes the floor a little slippery.”
On discharge, Mr. and Mrs. Watros decided to sue the hospital. The physician admitted negligence and poor treatment, but did not see a reason to apologize.
Put yourself in the position of all the people involved (as well as the hospital), and describe what could have been done differently.
Would you support the idea that patient satisfaction ratings should be tied to reimbursement payments? Is this idea appropriate? As a risk manager, how might you respond to a nurse who says, “That’s not fair because some patients will never be happy”? How will you go about explaining the importance of this metric to staff?
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