Quality of Care in OC Hospital Questioned in Court

In July 2014, a court case took place when a hospital employee stated that her workplace fired her for complaining “to defendants about conditions of the facilities that affected the quality of care and services provided” (Shaw v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County et al.) This case file is found at Courtinfo.ca.gov. Former employee Deborah Shaw stated that her workplace, Kindred Hospital, ultimately terminated her for verbally stating that their quality of care was poor.  The lawsuit was for the hospital to establish a set of rules and regulations and for them to compensate Shaw for her losses. At this point in time, Shaw’s request for a jury trial based on the Health and Safety Code section 1278.5 was denied.

A photo depicting a law study room, as seen here. Photo taken by Leilani Spring Fischbeck. L|P Photography
A photo depicting a law study room, as seen here. Photo taken by Leilani Spring Fischbeck. L|P Photography

Health.gov is a government agency that stresses the importance of quality of care and patient safety, and states that their recent project ODPHP helps improve patient safety, reduce infections, and reverse adverse drug situations. They are working to implement this system in healthcare facilities.

Geraldo Legaspi is an assistant coordinator, activity planner, and director for special needs students and adults at a healthcare center in the San Fernando Valley. He has been in the healthcare business for adults with disabilities for over eight years. Legaspi states that healthcare will always have glitches and financial factors typically determine the level of quality of care.

“There is a lack of health care no matter how you see it. Those who have it now have to pay a certain amount until their health care can go through fully thanks to Obama Care. As for those who had it before,” he shares, “they are restricted or have to change their health care, in which may lead to them having to pay more for their health care.”

American Flags can be seen flying over every courthouse in the nation, as seen here in Calabasas, CA. Photo taken by Leilani Spring Fischbeck L|P
American Flags can be seen flying over every courthouse in the nation, as seen here in Calabasas, CA. Photo taken by Leilani Spring Fischbeck L|P

In addition, Legaspi feels that employees who work in a small organization are better heard than those in giant corporations are and that is where the downfall occurs.

“In my experience, institutions that do not have that many employees listen to them more. Those institutions that have more employees, or at least a vast number of them, will not give much care to what they may say.”

Aba Horthy is an international student from Hungary that agrees that employees often go unheard.  In addition, Horthy believes that it is taking a risk to negatively speaking about one’s workplace because it will most likely fall upon deaf ears.

“I think institutions don’t really care about what the employee has to say. First, if there is a problem in an institution and the employee recognizes that problem, he or she would risk their jobs with filing a complaint. If the employee does complain, the institution would most likely ignore it because it would be a loss in money and time and they would like to gain more money not spending it.”

In addition, Horthy believes the employee does not always have the organization’s best interest in mind. Consequently, he feels the reason for termination is frequently accurate and fair.

Photo of a court layout, as seen here. Photo taken by Leilani Spring Fischbeck. L|P Photography.
Photo of a court layout, as seen here. Photo taken by Leilani Spring Fischbeck. L|P Photography.

“If employees care too much about their patients, they might spend extra time on patients without charging them which would lead up to beneficial loss of money for health care systems and that is not accepted. If employees care more about the money than the actual job they should be doing,” he reasons, “they are probably not listening to the patients, which leads up to inappropriate medical treatments, doing wrong lab tests, and other medical errors.”

Consequently, Legaspi agrees that financial issues often cause a huge barrier between employee and employer relationships and this is how issues in the workplace arise, including lack of quality care.

“Some main reasons that employees are terminated are because of financial issues for the company. They don’t want to cover everything because it will cost them to much,” he states, “or they believe that the cost of helping would be to high of a risk for them to take to continue helping employees.”

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