Your Words Matter...A Lot!

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The following article is about the importance of providers' words. Feel
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Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq.

Office: (877) 871-4062

Fax: (877) 871-9739

Twitter: @HogueHomecare

Your Words Matter...A Lot!

We have previously written about the importance of providers' words,
including about a Texas hospice owner who sent employees a text that said,
"You need to make this patient go bye-bye." Giving the owner every benefit
of the doubt and allowing for misunderstandings that may arise from text
messages, it seems impossible to justify this conduct. George Will
of the The Washington Post says, here we go again!

Eli's Home Care Week reported in the March 6, 2017, issue that an owner of a
hospice in Texas sent a text message to a nurse at the hospice telling her
to take over for nurses who weren't doing their jobs. The owner went on to
say: "I told this chick that if she would just give her 1 ml of Ativan and
turn her she would die," and "[expletive] woman is still alive.I need boots
on the ground." After the nurse took over the care of the patient, as
instructed, the owner then texted "nice work."

As we acknowledged in earlier articles, there is no doubt that patients can
sometimes be exasperating and infuriating.which may be putting it
charitably! As professionals, however, it is important to recognize that
the kind of "talk" that went on in these instances is completely
unacceptable. It's up to professionals to deal with frustrations in other,
more appropriate ways. Even venting to colleagues by making derogatory
statements about patients is inappropriate.

When almost everyone has a cell phone that is capable of recording audio and
video, we must conclude that it is likely that someone is listening to every
word we say and watching every move we make. The only way to be sure that
no one is recording inappropriate conduct is simply to not engage in it.

Now the owner quoted above has been indicted for allegedly engaging in fraud
to the tune of $60 million. The allegations must, of course, be proven.
But how do you think the above language is going to "play" with either a
judge or a jury? The obvious answer is, of course, not well at all! There
is simply no excuse for talking about patients in the manner evident above.

This is another reminder that your words really do matter. How you talk to
patients and about them to others is extremely important. Again, if you are
talking about patients inappropriately, help is needed. If you hear your
colleagues talking about patients inappropriately, call them on it and urge
them to seek help. While it is understandable on a human level, it is

There is very old wisdom on this subject. Proverbs 21:23, for example, says
"Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble."

Well said! Pay attention and don't engage in "talk" to patients and others
about patients that will get you into trouble. It matters..a lot!

C2017 Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq. All rights reserved.

No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without the
advance written permission of the author.


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