If there is already a thread on this, please tell me. I didn't see one.
I'm a new RN at a large LTC and am learning the ins and outs of communicating with doctors on second shift. We have one doctor who is excellent and we have a phone tree in place to communicate with him every evening when needed; he gets forwarded from unit to unit addressing his residents' issues. However, a few of our residents have other doctors that don't seem to care about their needs at all. They rarely actually visit the facility, we just have phone numbers to reach them when acute situations arise. About a month ago, we tried getting a hold of one of these doctors to report signs of infection and didn't get a call back for 3 days. *****
Yesterday we tried calling for a different issue, different patient, and doc didn't pick up the phone, hadn't called back by end of shift. What kind of BS is that? Who are these doctors answerable to? At what point is this lack of response considered negligence? Granted, our protocol requires us to notify them for every incident and skin tear and maybe that gets annoying to the doctors, but sometimes we are calling for orders. Any advice?
I already asked the head nurse if we can suggest that a certain family get their loved one a new doctor, and she said no way will the family hear of that; so-and-so has had Dr. What's-His-Name for a million years, they are never going to change doctors.
Yes, not only can you report a provider for negligence, but it is our duty to do so per the Nursing Board in my state,(Oregon), as well as by the Medical Board in our state. I did this and the process did produce a ruling and and Board stipulated order that will hopefully ensure greater safety to patients. If we see it occurring (negligence), then we are complicit in not reporting. I was told that by law, the Board cannot name you unless the case goes to court if an individual dies. Prior to my decision to report this provider, I went to the provider first with my concerns, to the CEO of our clinic, to the partners (all providers) of our clinic, to my nursing manager. No one did anything and by "anything", I mean anything Because of this lack of action to protect patients by any of the individuals in the position of authority, I contacted the State Medical Board, asking them to investigate and if they felt there was cause for concern, I would leave it in their capable hands. They did, and in this case, the process worked, although the provider is still "practicing". i am hopeful, given a Board Order that will be monitoring the provider's patients, charts, mandated education for the provider and mentorship, that this provider's issues will resolve.
Last edit by KAEBSNRN on Oct 17, '15
: Reason: Left out a word