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Should this Doc lose her right to practice for this post?

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A St. Louis OB-GYN is sparking controversy after she posted negative comments about one of her patients on Facebook, according to various reports.

According to TheBump.com, a popular website for moms-to-be, Dr. Amy Dunbar of Mercy Medical Center posted the following on Facebook:

“So I have a patient who has chosen to either no-show or be late (sometimes hours) for all of her prenatal visits, ultrasounds, and NSTs. She is now three hours late for her induction. May I show up late for her delivery?”

Critics around the blogosphere are saying Dunbar violated the patient’s privacy – even though she never mentions the patient by name.

“I hope immediate disciplinary action is taken against each of these individuals,” Mands Glover wrote on Mercy’s Moms-to-Be Facebook page.

“The situation here is amplified because the patient is pregnant . . . (and let’s get real, there’s no way we’re okay with the delivering doctor showing up LATE to (the) baby’s birth).”

- Kylie McConville, TheBump.com

Another poster disagreed with Glover, saying, “The patient's name was never mentioned . . . there are still thousands of women that match that description.”

A person known as “Jan” wrote this on Greta van Susteren’s blog GretaWire: "I have a solution. Give the inconsiderate patient the last appointment of the day. When she shows up 3 hours late, the office will have been closed for hours, and no one will be there. Problem solved.”

Kylie McConville, who wrote the article on TheBump.com, said, “The situation here is amplified because the patient is pregnant, and the doctor is the one responsible for delivering the baby (and let’s get real, there’s no way we’re okay with the delivering doctor showing up LATE to (the) baby’s birth).”

Hospital reacts

Mercy has not fired Dunbar, but released the following statement:

“Our physician leadership has already called Dr. Dunbar. Her comments were definitely inappropriate. We are also reviewing them to determine if they violated privacy issues, etc. That process requires a more thorough review, but we will determine the appropriate response as quickly as possible. In the meantime, know that our physician organization holds its members to the highest standards and strives to improve our service and clinical care through that process.”

Mercy’s statement said its privacy compliance staff did not find the posting to be a breach of privacy; but the hospital added it will use this opportunity to educate its staff about the appropriate use of social media.

“…We are very sorry that this incident occurred,” according to Mercy’s statement, which appeared on several news sites, including KMOV.

Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of FoxNews.com, said the doctor should have had a private discussion with her patient.

“The answer is not to get mad at the patient or to launder your frustrations in public,” said Alvarez, who is also the chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.

“As a doctor, our role is to heal the sick – but also educate them,” Alvarez said. “One of the biggest challenges I have as an OB-GYN is to make my point on the significance of a good relationship between a pregnant woman and her obstetrician. This has to start very early in the relationship.”

Alvarez said he has found most patients understand the importance of prenatal visits rather quickly – but in the case they do not comply with the doctors, then it may be time to find a new one.

“If, for whatever reason, there is a lack of compliance, then you can help the patient find another physician, so she can get the care she feels she may not be getting from you,” he added.

TheBump.com added the patient may have a valid reason for being routinely late, which is why a private discussion is that much more important.



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/02/06/ob-gyn-under-fire-for-posting-patient-info-on-facebook/#ixzz2KABjZUDp

by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 6:08 PM
Replies (81-90):
blessedisme3
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 2:19 PM

She didn't give any names or indication of who it might be. I see nothing wrong with her post. She is still human and she is complaining about something legit! What a horrible patient to think it's OK for her to waste her doctor's time like this!

redneckmama2
by Silver Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 2:23 PM

I honestly think it is kinda funny. There are so many other professions where there is no issue with venting online about someone you have to deal with. Yes, there are laws about patient privacy and what not but I do not see how she even possibly broke those laws. She was venting about someone she has to deal with and was being sarcastic about it as well. People need to get over it. doctors are just like the rest of us. HUMAN, imperfect and human!

michiganmom5150
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 2:24 PM
First of all, how many people are friends with their doc on Fb? It's intended for friends. She was making a sarcastic comment. I would be aggravated but the patient having no consideration for my time. Just as patients post in Fb about waiting hours at the doc office. I post similar things when my clients don't show up. I never mention names. It 's nothing worth taking her license over. Not like she was really late for the birth.
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Kayla20-12
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 2:27 PM

i don't think she should, i think they need to talk to the mother that isn't showing up for a vary important doc. vist's. the apointments are for  the baby not for her.

homeschoolx3
by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Sounds more she is full of shit, and yes I say fire her ass!

stormy51
by Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:56 PM

After a few times late and the Doctor doesn't have time to see her she should be able to get there on time.  I don't think the doctor breached any confidentiality since she didn't use a name.  They have the same right to voice their opinions as the rest of us do.  I also like this:


I have a solution. Give the inconsiderate patient the last appointment of the day. When she shows up 3 hours late, the office will have been closed for hours, and no one will be there. Problem solved.”

unspecified42
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 6:10 AM

Good God, no. While it was unprofessional, she really shouldn't get anything more than a slap on the hand. NO privacy was violated. The patient should be told to either be on time or find a new practice.

Twisties34
by Member on Feb. 13, 2013 at 3:18 AM
Frustration. Aggh. A Client who is late once or twice a few minutes leeway is probably ok but this doctor has her own busy life and a family for her patient to be continually late and 3 hours late at that I would consider her a no show charge her the consultation AND waiting time if after normal business hours and refuse to haver her on my books unless it was an emergency.
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Rust.n.Gears
by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 3:31 AM

Yeah she can be. Easily. This goes completely against HIPAA. The doctor has been taught this. I can not believe she would risk everything over someone she obviously thinks so little of. So stupid.

NellieQ
by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 10:14 AM

No there is no HIPPA violation.  She did not identify the patient.  HIPPA violation requires that the patient is identified and that their private medication information is reported.  This doctor reported medical information but did not identify the patient.  Had she even used the first name of the patient there is a chance for HIPPA review.  She did not.

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