Hospital 'robot' gives man end of life news

11 Mars, 2019, 10:42 | Auteur: Yves Courtet

Ernest Quintana was admitted to the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center emergency department in Fremont, California, on March 3, granddaughter Annalisia Wilharm told USA TODAY in a written message Saturday. But I don't think somebody should get the news delivered that way. "I'm freaking out inside, I'm trying not to cry - I'm trying not to scream because it's just me and him". While his family was aware that his condition was not great, they were shocked that news of this calibre was not delivered in person.

Wilharm said her grandfather, a family man who kept every childhood drawing he ever gave her, deserved better.

Michelle Gaskill-Hames, senior vice president for Kaiser Permanente said in a statement to NBC News that it was a "highly unusual circumstance".

He passed away the following day.

"It did not replace previous conversations with patient and family members and was not used in the delivery of the initial diagnosis".

A family friend wrote in a Facebook post: "That Robot Dr may be OK for some situations but not to tell a man he is going to die". It includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

A doctor told a man he was going to die via robot videolink. A doctor on the screen began speaking to them. She was astonished by what the doctor started saying.

As her grandfather had a hearing problem, she had to relay the news, KTVU reported. What they were not anticipating was that his prognosis would be delivered remotely by a doctor who was many miles away and hard for the patient to hear.

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"No matter how well we deliver very difficult news, it's sad and it's hard to hear", he said. She said that after the visit, he gave her instructions on who should get what and made her promise to look after her grandmother.

Gaskill-Hames, the hospital spokeswoman, said the health care provider is "continuously learning how best to integrate technology into patient interactions".

"This is the robot doctor that came into Cathie's father's ICU room late Monday night and told him he has no lungs left, only option is comfort care. This secure video technology is a live conversation with a physician using tele-video technology, and always with a nurse or other physician in the room", Kaiser Permanente said. It "allows a small hospital to have additional specialists such as a board-certified critical care physician available 24/7, enhancing the care provided and bringing additional consultative expertise to the bedside".

Ms Wilharm, 33, figured the visit was routine.

"He was such a sweet guy", she said.

"We regret falling short in meeting the patient's and family's expectations in this situation and we will use this as an opportunity to review our practices and standards with the care team".

"That was one of the worst days of my life", she said.



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