Monday, April 28, 2014

Sometimes, it really stinks

Doug Wojcieszak's passion is to get hospitals and doctors to see the value of apology and to have them make it part of their standard of care.  He often tells positive stories about places that have done this well, but every now and then he has a story that makes you cringe.

Here's the latest example of the latter. Lest you have a doubt about Doug's feelings, he titled it "Hospital’s PR Weasel Words After Tech’s Lies."  After I read the story, I felt that he might have been too kind in his choice of words.  An excerpt:
In summary, Perry Hospital technician Rachael Rapraeger lied about the results from over 1,200 mammograms.  In her plea deal with a criminal court, Ms. Rapraeger said she got behind in her work and created negative readings for over 1,200 mammograms….mammograms that were never reviewed by physicians.  Patients were lied to.  Ten patients actually had positive readings, and two have since died.   Ms. Rapraeger apologized for her conduct and was sentenced to six months in jail, 9.5 years of probation, a $12,500 fine, and is banned from the healthcare profession for 10 years.

Perry Hospital is currently facing 30 lawsuits from Ms. Rapraeger’s actions, and the hospital issued the following statement after her plea deal: “We are pleased this component of Ms. Rapraeger’s unfortunate action is concluded.”

Doug notes:

I am sure some PR person with the help of a gaggle of lawyers wordsmithed this doozy, and it really stinks.

Just right, Doug.  Thanks for your dedication to this cause.


Anonymous said...

I am kind of puzzled how a tech could create a reading on a mammogram do novo, unless she forged the doc's electronic signature? And she shouldn't have had the IT clearance to do that. Perhaps a warning to all to take steps to secure their processes against such fraud.

nonlocal MD

Nancy Thomas said...

That PR person didn't develop the statement in a silo - it went up the ranks for complete CEO and legal approval. It is very unfortunate. Gives PR flaks (like me) a bad reputation. I would have quit over that 'have to'....

Anonymous said...

and they wonder why we don't trust them.

Kerrie Peacock said...

Wow that's just horrible for those patients!