Monday, February 14, 2005

Who, Me?

Friend, colleague during Houston days, and recovering Pediatrician Jeff Ackerman has the below to say in response to the 02/03/05 posting titled The O’Neill Factor:

Jeff is now President and CEO of San Jacinto Methodist Hospital, part of the Methodist Health Care System based in Houston.

I enjoy reading your blog and your comments but must take issue with this article and more specifically the statement that CEOs should publicly stand up and take responsibility for everything that happens in their hospital. While I personally feel that way, public disclosure does not improve anything but does set me up as a target for lawyers. I can see the court room scene now.

Plaintiff's lawyer: "Dr. Ackerman, is it true that you have publicly stated that your are responsible for everything that happens in your hospital?"

Ackerman: "Yes."

Plaintiff's lawyer: "Then you admit you are responsible for the fact that Mr.
Smith died from an anaphylactic reaction to the dye used in his cardiac catheterization?"

So what does Ackerman now say when this is a known albeit small risk
explained to the patient. Take any other adverse event that is a known
risk of a procedure or medication. I suggest we should take responsibility and act like everything is our responsibility but declaring it publicly adds nothing to the equation.

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