What Would You Do?

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By AHRA Staff

January 2011–Every month, a hypothetical industry and management related situation is posted. You are encouraged to share your thoughts (in the Comment box below) on how you would resolve the issue. Be sure to check out others’ responses and join the discussion.

Here’s your first quandary of the new year:

Following a procedure, a radiology patient was taken to the department restroom.  He could not find the light switch, slipped, and fell to the floor, breaking both hips.  What would you do?


  1. It is difficult in some ways to answer this question. The situation would likely have been avoided here, since I would have escorted the patient to the restroom and made sure that the light was on before he entered. Depending on the exam and his condition, we also would have assisted him if necessary.
    As it stands, there is no choice once he falls. We call for emergency assistance, take him to the ED, and fill out a variance report.

  2. If this really happened….God forbid. We would immediately call the Radiologist and department nursing staff to assess the patient and begin his care. This would of course include contacting his physician. We would complete a patient injury report and the meetings would begin quickly to determine how this happened and how to prevent in the future. We would involve Radiology, nursing, risk management, and our facilities department and staff in those areas to brainstorm and find a solution. This would documented and reported to the appropriate persons and staff education would begin immediately. And then we would complete some more forms as needed!

  3. Since the patient has already been diganosed as having bilateral fractured hips, I am going to presume the patient had radiographs taken to confirm the fractures. This would also presume that the radiology staff, physician and technical, were involved. After completion of the radiographs and determination by a radiologists that no further radiographs are warranted, the patient would be taken to the ED for further evaluation and the clinician that ordered the initial procedure for this patient would be notified of this accident. The next step would be notify Quality Management and the organizations legal representative and begin the process of reconstructing the events leading to this unfortunate accident in the hopes of eliminating future like situations.

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