Risk Management and Quality Assurance

Scenario:

Mr. Smith, a 24 year-old single man, presented to the Emergency Department (ED) after a fight. As part of the assessment plan, the ED evaluation included radiology studies of the head and skull. His tests were negative and he was discharged from the ED. Three weeks after his ED visit, he called and stated that during his visit he lost diamond earrings worth approximately $2,000. He stated the earrings were taken from him by the technician just before the X-ray testing.

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INVESTIGATION:

There is a statement that the hospital is not responsible for lost items. This is within many statements in the permission to treat form. The patient signed the permission to treat form.
In Radiology, if a patient was wearing earrings, and he/she was having a test on or near the head, the patient was asked to remove the earrings for the testing. The earrings and any other small valuables taken from the patient were put into a paper cup. The top of the paper cup was folded over. Once the testing was completed, the cup would be returned to the patient.
In the ED a valuables list is not completed. There was no documentation that the patient was wearing diamond earrings.
In discussion with the patient, he had no proof of purchase. The earrings were a gift from his cousin and he had no receipt.

You are responsible for making the decision. Please explain:

Your decision;
Why the decision was made;
Explain your decision to Mr. Smith;
What organizational changes do you recommend?

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