The Veteran Health Administration (VHA) requires healthcare providers to inform their patients of any adverse side effects resulting in the course of the care (Pozgar 1). The patient has a right to be informed of any harm associated with surgical procedure and whether the side effects are immediate or come up later on (Pozgar 2).
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As per the case study of Mrs. Z, the surgeon, who was supposed to advising her on the surgery and its side effects, did not take his duty seriously. Therefore, instead of meeting Mrs. Z and talking to her face to face, he highlighted the benefits and risks of the surgery in writing form.
He proceeded to put them on the table and asked a nurse to tell Mrs. Z to read through and sign the consent form. Mrs. Z, on the other side, was in a hurry to pick her children from school and so she signed the consent form but did not read the notes from her surgeon.
As a result, some of the crucial considerations, like involving family members, were not discussed. In addition, Mrs. Z had blood pressure and type II diabetes, which were crucial aspects to consider before any surgery should be carried out on her.
In this case, the surgeon did not ascertain the clinical adverse effects of the surgery to the patient because he took his duty lightly. These events are therapeutic misadventures, which are directly associated with patient’s care within the jurisdiction of the medical center.
For instance, if he had been patient enough, the surgeon could have gathered sufficient information from Mrs. Z regarding her health history. This way, he could have analyzed it exhaustively to determine the best treatment and management for her condition.
The Bariatric Surgery Center had the responsibility to convince Mrs. Z, who seemed to be in a hurry, to spare sometime, and have a face-to-face conversation with the surgeon regarding her situation. In the conversation, the surgeon should probe the patient to provide any information that could be critical for the surgery.
For instance, the surgeon had to ask Mrs. Z if she was suffering from any ailments. This way, Mrs. Z could have informed the surgeon of her blood pressure and diabetes. During the conversation, the surgeon should also inform Mrs. Z of the requirements of surgery, such as involving family members at her own will.
Also, all benefits and risks of the impending surgery should be revealed to the patient beforehand by the surgeon, which he failed to ensure in a proper way. Moreover, the surgeon was obligated to inform Mrs. Z of the legal restrictions on the information sharing.
The surgeon should also assure Mrs. Z of confidentiality of any personal information she might disclose to him, and which could be vital in the surgical procedure to be carried on her.
There are statutes and regulations of confidentiality, like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and Privacy Act (US Department of Health and Human Services 4).
These acts limit the disclosure of any patient information including his or her personal information records to other medical personnel unless there is an agreement of the patient.
The Bariatric Surgery Centre has a poor practice of consenting patients although it is the preference sensitive treatment for obesity patients.
The center should adopt the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) directive, which gives exclusive policies pertaining to the disclosure of adverse events, which are related to clinical care, as well as the care given to patients and their personal representatives (US Department of Health and Human Services 20).
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If the Bariatric Surgery Center adopts these directives, it will be in a position to serve patients like Mrs. Z effectively, putting into consideration all applicable legal and ethical aspects.
Pozgar, Jones G. Legal Aspects of Health Care Administration. 11th ed. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011. Print.
US Department of Health and Human Services. Eliminating serious, preventable, and costly medical errors – never events. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 20 Aug. 2007. Web. <https://www.psnet.ahrq.gov/resources/resource/3816>.