The University of Virginia (UVA) Hospital is reputed to be the number one hospital in Virginia. Whoever conducts the rankings must never have had occasion to visit UVA’s Emergency Room (ER). They should count their blessings.
I have had two recent occasions to visit the ER on two separate days, in efforts to obtain urgent help for a relative who was experiencing a medical crisis. I will spare you the horrible details of these experiences – namely with the ER admission desk and the so-called triage operations.
These experiences have been amptly detailed in a formal grievance that I have initiated with the Hospital Administrator – a professional who gives me confidence that she will be faithful to the truth as she pursues my complaint – whatever internal politics she may encounter along the way notwithstanding. We shall see.
My complaint cites gross incompetence and unprofessional conduct on the part of staff responsible for the ER admission desk and triage. As a whistleblower attorney, I, too, have a duty to be faithful to the truth. That means exposing organizational ineptness in the hopes that the public welfare will be served.
Part of being faithful to the truth means also shedding light on the good that one sees. Once my relative was able to suffer through (and “suffer” is the apt term) the ER admission desk and triage mess, with the assistance of persistent urging and advocacy from me to get the staff to actually do their jobs rather than just sit around doing nothing, we witnessed on the other side of the door UVA Hospital personnel at their finest.
Doctors, nurses and technicians worked collaboratively and collegially as teams, demonstrating utmost caring, courtesy and competence. It became clear that UVA Hospital, at least in part, deserved the status as Virginia’s top medical facility.
Unfortunately, if one cannot survive the extreme rudeness, indifference and overall incompetence of the ER admissions and “triage” process, then one may not get to see the other side of ER at the UVA Hospital. That’s a shame.
If, by sounding the alarm, I can help UVA Hospital correct itself so that future patients will not suffer the same ER experience that my family has, then my formal grievance and public statement will have been worth the effort. I will have been faithful to the truth as a whistleblower.
Chief Counsel of the Whistleblower Anti-Bullying Resource Network (WARN)