Posted: August 20th, 2022
Case: Looking for help
On July 12. Jill had severe pain in the left side of her head while Ill work. She was not speaking coherently and eventually lost consciousness for a few moments. She was taken to her physician’s office by a coworker. Jill’s physician ordered some tests at the hospital’s outpatient imaging center to rule out a transient ischemic attack (TIA). A medical assistant at the imaging center explained to Jill that her tests could not be scheduled until July 14.
Dan drove his wife Jill to her appointment. They arrived early on July 14 for her imaging test. On their arrival at the imaging center. Dan dropped Jill off at the front entrance while he searched for a parking space. Meanwhile Jill went into the center and handed her prescription to Carol, a medical assistant at the front desk. Carol said to Jill, “I am sorry, but we cannot perform your test. Your doctor faxed u’ on unsigned and undated order sheet. It is confusing as to what imaging studies he want’. He checked a box on the physician’s order sheet
indicating that he wanted a CT scan of the head. In addition, there was a handwritten note on the form indicating that your physician wants an MRI to rule out a TIA. We are not sure if he wants one or both tests. You will have to get clarification from the physician as to exactly what procedure he wants.”Dan. after having parked his wife’s car. arrived at the front desk and saw his wife somewhat distressed. Carol explained the problem to Dan. He asked Carol,”Could you please contact the physician and ask him to clarify and fox back to the center what test he wants?” Carol replied “we are very busy” however you can use our phone and ask the physician to clarify his order and have him fax us a new order.” Jill interrupted. appearing somewhat agitated and asked. “What is your fax number?” Carol (pointing to a wall) replied. “It is posted there on the wall by the phone. You can use that phone.” Carol suggested to Jill that she complete the patient intake paperwork while Dan contact’s Jill’s physician. Dan was able to get a new faxed order. As the) waited for Jill to be called for her test with her eyes tearing up, she turned to Dan and said. “This is how my last 6 years of life have been. fighting his horrendous disease. What would I do without you?”
Ethical and Legal Issues
1. Should the medical assistant have clarified the physician’s order prior to the patient’s arrival? Consider in your answer how Carol might have reacted if she was the patient or her spouse, parent or child “as the patient’!
2. Discus’ what ethical issues you would be concerned with and what action would you take if you were a member of the governing body sitting in the waiting room observing this incident.
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