Ssm Health St Joseph Hospital - Nurses Slander on Patients ER Record
I was a patient at SSM St Josephs of St Charles Mo. Although I survived I will carry with me the burden of all the mistakes and slander recorded in my medical records for the rest of my life. Read what they wrote about me in first photo. Also see my rebuttal on the statements in second photo. In essence the only nurse, Jennifer W, judged and diagnosed me just by looking at me and did little to nothing for about 2+ hours. If it were not for the shift change I would be dead today.
The slander was sent to an unknown number of doctors in the SSM network automatically while I was recovering in the hospital. As a result I have lost doctors; Dr X (GI), Dr Y (Primary), and Dr Z (new Primary). Still to this day I have no primary care doctor due to slander in my permanent records. Dr X's staff chose to believe the slander even though the doctor stated in the hospital to me that “the EM notes did not sound like you at all”. Since the staff would not relay messages to Dr. X, I had to find another GI doctor to treat an emergency issue of not being able to swallow. This same procedure I had numerous times in Dr X's facility previously. I am sure if he knew about it I would have been treated immediately. He was a great doctor and we had a good relationship, we often joked about my predicaments. You have to have a sense of humor or you will have trouble getting any enjoyment out of life.
After I got out of the hospital I went to a follow up visit with my primary care doctor, Dr Y. When I got there he was treating me badly and making references, unknown to me at the time, to statements in the ER records he had been sent. He would not take me seriously when I asked if I would have issues from a seizure I had while getting an X-Ray in the ER. He asked if I was just tripping and did not mention anything about my extremely low sodium. I asked if he should do a blood test to check my sodium and other levels, to see if I had any damage from being left so long without being treated, but he did not help me. Later I got his notes/records on me and he never had taken me seriously. In there were notes of an issue I had previously where I kept having vomiting bouts over many weeks causing me significant weight loss. He only gave me anti-nausea medicine even after I asked what could be causing it. He did record the large weight loss but just noted that I needed to lose weight anyway and was looking better. Really, I was only about 20 pounds overweight so how skinny does he want me! So needless to say I went and found a new doctor.
I then got the ER records and I finally saw what had been written about me in the ER. I was shocked and outraged. The slanderous ER notes and the impacts with my relationships with my doctors drove me to take the issue up with the ER staff. This started a long and torturous journey though the hospital bureaucracy to try to get this reconciled. So I am just wanting to put the highlights below to not drag you though the mud like I was.
I first talked to the ER director, Karen G, about being left to die by the ER nurse, the lack of any doctor on staff and the false statements that were wrote about me to cover up the ER nurse's actions after it was discovered later that I had a life threatening issue. After a long discussion the ER director said she would give the nurse “a talking to”. I gave here a look that caused here to step back, I told her this was not acceptable. I did not want what she did to me be done to anyone else! She did not offer to help me with my predicament with the ER records that were causing me major issues with my current doctors and with finding new doctors.
I then asked to be directed to the ethics department to see if they could help with this. I ended up talking to the main doctor for ethics, Dr B. As part of the discussion I mentioned that the nurse had incorrectly recorded a treatment on my rectal region, I said it was actually on my upper butt. He then told me that the rectal region was the same as my butt which I thought was quite strange and more like a cover up for the nurse or he must have taken a very different anatomy class than I did! The only issue he saw in the notes was the comment from the nurse that “the patient needed no farther treatment”. This should have been a clear sign that the nurse had chosen not to treat me, except for some nausea medicine she gave me, I was basically ignored by her. He was very confrontational and it seemed his ethics was not any better then the other staff I had issues with and so I was not hopeful. He did tell me about a form I could get to create an amendment to my ER records. This is where I could put my rebuttal to the slanderous comments and get them added to the records. My rebuttal was later reviewed and deemed to be complete and accurate and put in my records Later I found out they do not even have an ethics department and that the doctor I talked to was just the lead doctor for the hospital. So that may explain a general lack of ethics in the whole hospital. Think about it, even the first shift staff that saved my life did not step forward and point out the problems even though they knew I was there for hours without even being on IV fluids, and that I had been vomiting and was recorded as being severely dehydrated. I even ended up in the hospital for 3 days under seizure watch due to the neglect. I know they are all fearful of law suites but they cannot just ignore things like this or it will happen again.
Next I went to the records department itself to see if I could stop my ER records from being sent out. Unfortunately they were very good at the run around. The main person I talked to would give me incorrect answers, based on my discussions with other hospital records department, which just wasted my time. I asked them send me a form to restrict the records but instead the form was for releasing my records. They tried again but the new form said I would have to pay an unknown sum to restrict the record and they may send it anyway. Really!! I talked to a person called Ester who was the head there and asked where my amendment was and at first she acted like she did not know what I was talking about. When pushed she got cross with me but she ended up finding it in a pile on her desk. For a long time after that no one else would talk to me and I was told to talk to someone called Macy. After the amendment was approved I did talk to Ester again and her attitude had change 180 degrees, she even asked how I was. I said “I survived the ER and now am dealing with my records which is very traumatizing”. I asked if they had sent out my amendment to the people who got the original record and they had not. Even though it was part of the amendment process they said they had to talk to Macy, so I had to coerce them to send it out as documented in the process. I still do not know if my approved amendment was sent to all the original recipients since they would not even say who they were.
So during this journey I was contacted by a hospital representative only known as “Macy”. I could never get her full name or title, except for Risk Management, but she seemed like a lawyer type. She tried to imply that I was not remembering things correctly due to my condition. I told her my memory is fine and after not seeing a doctor for over an hour, I started telling the ER nurse “I feel like I was dying and that I want to see a *** doctor now” whenever she decided to come in. But she just said I will call him and would walk away leaving me sitting there vomiting and in extreme pain (9 on the pain scale). I asked Macy how would she feel if that was her sitting there being treated like that! She also tried to tell me that the original nurse treated me and gave me the sodium shot (she was not to be seen again by me after the new shift started). But if you look at the time stamps for the medicine it was all done after the new shift came in. When asked about my records, Macy said they were not going to address the slander that had been put in my records. During the conversation she slipped and admitted that the the law required them to have at least one doctor in the ER at all times, but at the time I was in there (4:15am) no doctor was to be found or recorded. According to the ER status board Dr H was on shift. I found out later he was a hospital floor doctor and not an ER doctor. So if he was trying to do two jobs at once he failed miserably since he was not on any orders for the ER (see time stamps for ER and Hospital), the only orders were from doctors that the nurse called, or sent to electronically, to get the order. Later I found out from Karen G that Dr H was no longer with St Josephs hospital. I have to wonder that with no ER doctor why was the ER not shut down since I hope they do not normally run the ER that way! Macy would often be the name others would refer to for approval to do something but she would not answer or return my calls most of the time.
My new primary care doctor, Dr Z, asked about recent EM room visits during my first appointment. I did not want him to see the slanderous records and my amendment was still in work (it took 2.5 months). So I gave him my records omitting that one ER record, but later he ended up getting it anyway. I could tell because he started treating me differently and was not very respectful. So I got his notes from main repository in order to see what was going on and found he had the ER record. During one visit he told me that the 118 level for my sodium must have been a mistake since at that level death was eminent. I said that reading was done 2 hours before I was treated so it was probably even lower and it was not retested until I was in the hospital. In the end he started refusing to treat me for anything. I have a large lump on the back of the leg and he said if it gets bigger I could make another appointment. When I was leaving he did suggest going to the EM room for it, which of course that would be the last place I would want to go to. So now I have to find another primary care doctor thanks to the slanderous records. Even though I now have the amendment approved it still my word against a Nurse/Doctor so things are against me from the start with a new doctor.
As a last resort I got in contact with the hospital's president, Mike B, staff. I explained the issues to his staff and tried to get an appointment with him. I told them I did not want to sue and was trying to keep the issues in house so they could straighten things out without a public scandal. At first they acted like I could get an appointment but in the end they told me he would send me letter (never got it). Seems one sided, since he only talked to his staff, but looking at his LinkedIn page he moves around frequently so he is probably getting ready for his next job and does not want anything to make him look bad. I told his staff I would give him an F- on his work and that now I would have to take my issues outside to see if that would get better results. In the end the leader has to set the bar and create the culture for the company, I guess he has done that but if that was my company I would not tolerate the way it is operated, where lying and misdirection being the standard procedure.
In the end I just wanted to clear my record and make sure that this would never happen to anyone else. I pushed them to get some ethics training and change the culture to be open and honest. With all the lies and miss directions I cannot be sure if the few things the staff said they had done were actually done. I failed at this, so I put this together and am sending it out in hopes that someone could make this happen. Beware always check you medical records!!
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