Monday, February 3, 2014

ABSOLUTELY MIND BLOWING: This is How San Francisco General Hospital Works...

Since it fills a chunk of its beds with homeless, who aren't credibly ill, but for which the hospital can bill the city. Staff waste their time on these non-sick, and the care for the truly ill declines.

The most shocking example of this is the recent death at San Francisco General Hospital of patient Lynn Spalding, who was found dead on a hospital stairwell two weeks after she disappeared from her hospital bed. A new report is out on the death. You really have to read this to understand the tragic circus act this hospital has become. (As I learned during my own personal stay at the hospital)

The SF Chronicle writes (my highlights):
San Francisco General Hospital nurses failed to act on a doctor's order that Lynne Spalding be watched around the clock before she walked away from her room last fall, and at least one sheriff's deputy who was told to search the hospital stairwells said he understood it to be something he could do if he had "free time," according to a federal agency's investigation into her death.

Both the hospital and the Sheriff's Department share in the blame for the death of Spalding, whose body was found in a stairwell more than two weeks after she vanished from her room Sept. 21, investigators concluded. The stairwell where she was found was never searched before a worker stumbled onto her body during a routine check[...] It found "systemic" failures at the hospital and said officials there never worked out an emergency plan with the Sheriff's Department. That created the risk of a "chaotic and poorly coordinated" response such as the one that led to Spalding's death, the report said[...]Haig Harris, the Spalding family's attorney, said the report revealed a startling number of breakdowns.[...]The probe concluded that the hospital's inability to upgrade security alone resulted in the death of Spalding, 57, who had been admitted for treatment of a bladder infection and for being disoriented.

But the hospital itself bears plenty of blame for what happened to Spalding, the report said, starting with nurses' failure to carry out written orders two days before she vanished Sept. 21: "NEVER leave patient unattended."

Hospital officials told the investigators that they have long wanted to replace the Sheriff's Department and contract out for better security, but have been barred from doing so by the Board of Supervisors every year since 2009[...]On the morning of Sept. 20 - when there apparently was no monitor at her bed - Spalding wandered into the nursing station, saying she worked at an airport. Later that morning, a doctor specifically told a nurse that Spalding was to be watched around the clock, according to the federal report, which does not name any of the hospital or sheriff's employees involved in the case. 
Despite the order, nurses' notes outlining Spalding's care said only that she was to be kept under "close observation," investigators found. The nurse who had spoken with the doctor conceded that she "did not get a chance" to update Spalding's care instructions, the report said, so the order for around-the-clock monitoring was "inadvertently discontinued."[...]That was far from a unique situation at San Francisco General, the report found. An audit done in November found that out of eight cases selected at random in which doctors ordered patients to be monitored full time, nurses failed to do so in two cases. In other cases, one monitor was assigned to several patients.

In lieu of a monitor, "close observation" meant Spalding was to be checked every 15 minutes, the federal report said. On the morning she disappeared, however, the staffer assigned the job was called away at 8:30 a.m., and no one took over. Spalding was discovered missing at 9:55 a.m.[...] 
Several deputies told investigators they were never ordered to look for Spalding the day she vanished. A supervisor insisted he had done so, but that he had not specifically told deputies to look in the hospital's 10 stairwells.

He told deputies they were looking for a black woman, although Spalding was white. He told federal investigators that he knew Spalding was Caucasian and had no explanation for his misidentification.

Many major metropolitan hospitals are a wreck, now. But wait until ObamaCare kicks-in.

Stay healthy, my friends.


  1. WOW this is a great article. Why? Because I'm currently not very happy with the care I'm getting in Sweden. Hearing how bad it can be in the U.S. makes me feel a lot better, in fact I have just decided to stop feeling sorry for myself.

    1. Remember, this is the People's Republic of San Francisco you are reading about.

    2. Like most delusional people, he seems to think the Us has a free market healthcare system. It's so far away from free market now its not even funny.

  2. Anytime I read these hospital horror stories I get scared out of my mind whenever my grandfather (a Korean war vet) has to stay at the VA hospital.

  3. The Hospital, a 1971 Paddy Chayefsky satire starring George C. Scott, while not perfect, is nonetheless great fun to watch for anyone who's suffered through a stay in any large urban hospital. It's still every bit as accurate today as it was 40+ years ago, maybe even more so.