Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Health and Disability Commissioner
Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill today released a report finding a GP in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the Code) for failing to correctly establish a woman’s medical history and identity before administering treatment for a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
The woman, who was 14 weeks pregnant, arrived at the medical centre with abdominal pain. Prior to the consultation, the GP reviewed the notes for a different woman who needed treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
When the GP saw the woman, she told her she was there to be treated for a sexually transmitted infection. The woman denied knowledge of that, explaining that she had recently had a normal swab, but the GP emphasised the importance of treatment. The GP then gave the nurse a verbal order to administer an antibiotic by injection. The nurse was aware of the identity of the woman and, after administering the antibiotic, asked the GP why the woman had been prescribed an antibiotic for abdominal pains. At this point, the GP realised she had made a mistake regarding the woman’s identity.
“This case is concerning in that the basic aspects expected in a medical consultation were not done,” Mr Hill said.
He considered that the GP did not identify the woman correctly or establish her history and presenting complaint. She also did not pay sufficient attention to the woman’s responses and concerns, and then failed to accurately record the errors in the woman’s medical records. As a result of this, the woman was incorrectly administered medication intended for another patient.
“There was a lack of opportunity for [the woman] to participate in the consultation and discuss the new diagnosis. Had [the GP] paid sufficient attention to [the woman’s] comments and questioned her further, this error could have been avoided.”
Anthony Hill recommended that the doctor undertake training on communication and provide proof to HDC that this has been completed within four months. The GP has apologised to the woman.
The full report for case 19HDC00915 is available on the HDC website.