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Top hospital changes policies after young boy’s death

A top-ranked hospital, in direct response to a young patient's death, has altered its discharge methods to make the process more thorough.
A top-ranked hospital, in direct response to a young patient's death, has altered its discharge methods to make the process more thorough.

NYU Langone Medical Center was recently ranked as one of the nation's top ten hospitals in the 2012-2013 U.S. News & World Report's annual survey of "Best Hospitals" in America in the areas of orthopaedics (ranked 6th), rheumatology (ranked 7th) and rehabilitation (ranked 8th), according to a press release. 

However, NYU Langone is also in the news for making significant changes in its patient discharge procedures after a 12-year-old boy died from septic shock after being released with a fever and rapid heart rate.

The New York Times reported in a recent article that Rory Staunton was admitted to the hospital to be given fluids for symptoms of dehydration. After being told by doctors that he was suffering from a stomach bug, Staunton was released. His parents said they were not told of lab results that showed his blood had high levels of cells associated with bacterial infections.

Lisa Greiner, a hospital spokesperson, said in a statement that a new checklist was developed to ensure that all test results are reviewed, and a patient is properly informed, before he or she is released. Greiner added that the steps were taken in a direct response to the boy's death.

"Keeping our patients safe is our first priority, and we want to prevent this situation from happening again," Greiner said.

Brian Conway, a spokesman for the Greater New York Hospital Association, told the Times that 55 hospitals have developed tactics to try and detect sepsis early, with an enhanced focus on pediatric patients as diagnosis can be especially difficult in young individuals.

Regardless of how established a business or organization might find itself, proper preparedness for a multitude of situations is necessary for business continuation. Working with a business continuity consultant can help companies create contingency plans for whatever type of situation might arise.