Hospital employees need to be extremely conscientious, because they literally have the fate of other people's health in their hands. If they are negligent, patients suffer health consequences that can adversely affect the rest of their lives or even result in the deaths. When that happens, the hospital where the negligence happened can be legally liable in addition to the employee directly responsible. One case in which a hospital employee was viewed as negligent happened recently, and it did lead to the patient's death. It is currently under investigation.
The patient, 62, was a veteran of the United States army. He was supposed to be receiving outpatient care by an employee of a local Veterans Affairs hospital. However, earlier this year, the patient was found dead in his home.
The VA hospital employee claims that he checked on the patient just the day before. However, the coroner says that is impossible. A representative from the coroner's office says medical tests confirm that the patient had died 3 or 4 days prior to his body being discovered. Based on the results of those tests, it would have been impossible for the VA hospital employee to have checked on the patient the day before the body was discovered, as he claimed.
For that reason, the accusation of negligence was made and is being investigated. The investigation has included looking into the hospital worker's criminal history, which according to police includes both domestic violence and burglary.
Negligence by hospital employees is important to anyone who may need medical care for themselves or their relatives, whether that care is in a medical facility or as an outpatient. Hopefully news about cases like this will inspire hospitals to ensure that all employees care for patients in a responsible manner.