Story Behind The Story

Investigating Claims of Inadequate Care At Local Hospital

Tonight, I worked on a story that took us a couple days to shoot and collect information on. It’s all about a central Ohio woman who says policies at a local hospital kept her from receiving the care she needed when she made a late night visit to the emergency room a few months ago.

The woman is currently seven months pregnant; she was three months pregnant when she went to the e.r. with bleeding.  The reason she went to the e.r. is because she has had seven miscarriages in the past and she was obviously concerned the same thing was happening to her this time around.

She alleges the doctor at the e.r. wouldn’t conduct an ultrasound on her because hospital policy prevented him from doing so. Because of this, she says she left the hospital without knowing the condition of her baby.  A few weeks later she received a bill for $900, which she is disputing because she feels she didn’t receive adequate care. (For the entire story, check out nbc4i.com.)

Fortunately, (as you read at the beginning of this story) her pregnancy was perfectly fine and she is two months away from having a son!

For this story, we started off by visiting the woman at her home on Thursday. During the interview, she told us everything that happened to her. It was very important that we start there because we need to make sure we have all the necessary information when we contact the hospital to get their side of the story. (every story has two sides)

By the time we had shot the interview, it was already around 6 o’clock in the evening. Though late, I made a point of leaving a message for a hospital spokesperson and continued working on the story. It’s very important to note that the reason we spent two days on this story is because we wanted to make sure we gave the hospital plenty of time to address the issues being brought up by their patient. Friday morning, I called the hospital again and my call was soon returned by the spokesperson with whom I left a message the night before. I was able to tell her exactly what the situation was at hand as well as my deadline, and she began collecting information for the story.

Just after I arrived at the station later that afternoon, I got a call from the spokesperson who said she needed to have the patient’s permission (i.e. signature) before the hospital could address her specific case.

You have understand, federal law keeps hospitals and health care officials on a pretty tight leash when it comes to discussing one’s health history. (and rightfully so… I wouldn’t want a hospital releasing information on me without my knowledge) Because of these regulations, the hospital faxed us a form for the patient to sign that gives the hospital permission to discuss the issue. Considering the patient was anxious to hear what the hospital had to say, she signed it and we dropped it off personally to the hospital spokesperson. (It involved some legwork on our part, but for a story like this it is absolutely crucial we do everything we can to get both sides of this story)

After we dropped off the form, we waited for the spokesperson to send an email that addressed the concerns. A few hours later, it was in my inbox.  Though I only had time to use a portion of it in the actual story that aired on television, I did make a point to put the entire statement in the story that is appearing on our website. (ah, the beauty of the internet and lack of limitations of story size)

So there you have it. As I mentioned before, this story involved more legwork than others, but it’s necessary that a journalist explore all the avenues available to get all sides of the story.

Posted by Tom Brockman  on 08/06 at 06:29 PM

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Comments

Usually a regular hospital. They may be put directly in the Psych Ward or they might have to spends some time in Intensive Care depending on their condition. Usually they are in there for a just few days or weeks. Usually it is the psychiatrist’s decision how long they stay.

Keratosis

Posted by irvinelmo  on  08/26  at  11:59 PM

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Each and every general hospitals should take more care on their patients health,.
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Posted by health articles  on  08/27  at  04:22 AM

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Usually they are in there for a just few days or weeks.

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Posted by Avis Austin  on  09/18  at  01:14 AM

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If they are illegals, they should be deported - problem solved. No one who is here in violation of our laws should be allowed to benefit from their crime. If Mexican authorities want to cry and complain, let them buy the machines and take care of their own citizens.Viagra Kaufen

Posted by sharylchella  on  08/17  at  11:37 PM

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