I Should Have Known
I drove into work one afternoon. The weather was beautiful and sunny. As I neared the hospital, my eyes were drawn toward the sky by movement in the air, There were three buzzards circling high overhead. I should have guessed that they were harbingers of bad news, but I didn't attach much importance until I actually reported for duty.
JACOH was inspecting the hospital. They are the agency responsible for evaluating how well hospitals are with maintaining standards and conforming to the health laws. In an unusual coincidence, there were three surveyors. I was fortunate enough to have missed the inspection part and didn't have to answer questions this time, but another inspection, the one inspector specifically asked to round with a nursing supervisor on rounds.
The "powers that be" gave me some information as to what to say and do. One of which was about issuing medications. After hours, the pharmacy was closed. Any medications that were needed came from a stocked area in the emergency room. I was told, if they asked, "We only issue emergency medications as supervisors.
Of course when they rounded with me, they asked to see the medication room. I was in a quandary. I knew that the log we had to keep on medications that we gave out reflected some non-emergent drugs.
When they asked, I said, "For the most part, all we issue are emergency drugs, but we do give out some medications that are preps for testing the next day and we do give out some pain medications. I don't think a patient should be in pain all night because someone wouldn't consider it an emergency drug."
The woman looked at me, smiled, and didn't ask another question. I was sure I'd have been caught in a lie if I would have stuck to the story that management had wanted me to tell. That log book would have proved me a liar and caused a more thorough review of the hospital's policy. (It was the hospital's policy for us to issue the medications that I shared with the inspector.)
The major reason that I didn't like the inspections was the JACOH people came to each facility with new inspection standards. Unless one hospital shared what they were looking for, it was a fairly even chance that the hospital would fail in many areas.