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Ethical Dilemmas in Healthcare systems

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Death of Esmin

Healthcare professionals face ethical dilemmas throughout their careers. Practitioners (nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, lab technicians, etc.) and financial managers have a fiduciary responsibility to allocate scarce resources between personnel, equipment, buildings, and supplies while still increasing shareholder wealth. The conflict between providing quality medical care (expensive) and containing cost (interest of the shareholder) can and sometimes does produce results that end in disaster. Below is an example where the decision to or not take a particular course of action has ethical and legal consequences.

On June 18, 2008, a mentally ill woman was left unattended in a psychiatric facility’s emergency room waiting area. Esmin Green expires while waiting through four hospital shifts to receive care. Please click on the links below to familiarize yourself with the case and then respond to the question that follow.

http://abcnews.go/com/US/story?id=5284151&page=2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91KUwBCIBzA

To view the result filed by New Yolk City Department of Investigation please click below

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doi/downloads/pdf/pr54esmingreenrpt_61909.pdf

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doi/downloads/pdf/pr_esmingreen_finalrpt.pdf

The hospital terminated several personnel including the administrator, a physician, nurses and other support staff. Esmin Green’s medical record was falsified in an effort to cover up intentional neglect. How does an electronic health record help ensure a patient’s right to medical intervention is met? How as a practitioner could you have prevented this event from happening? What, if any, ethical responsibilities do you believe financial managers hold that patients receive quality medical care? Was the administrator responsible for the conduct of the hospital staff?

Among the prospective benefits of an electronic health record keeping to the patients include substantial decrease in healthcare expenses, reduction of therapeutic faults, and enhanced quality of care. The treatment costs will be reduced as a result of the exchange of the electronic health records of the patients among different health care systems especially by the exchange of information on the health of patients.

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