1. Esther Jackson is a 56-year-old black female who is 1-day post-op following a left radical mastectomy. During morning rounds, the off-going nurse shares with you during bedside report that the patient has been experiencing increased discomfort in her back throughout the night and has required frequent help with repositioning. She states that the patient was medicated for pain approximately 2 hours ago but is voicing little relief and states that you might want to mention that to the doctor when he rounds later this morning. With the patient appearing to be in no visible distress, you proceed on to the next patient’s room for report.
Approximately 1 hour later, you return to Ms. Jackson’s room with her morning pills and find her slumped over the bedside stand in tears. The patient states, “I don’t know what is wrong, I don’t feel right. My back hurts and I’m just so tired. What is wrong with me?” The patient refuses to take her medications at this time stating that she is starting to feel sick to her stomach.
Just then the nursing assistant comes into the patient’s room to record Ms. Jackson’s vital signs, you take this opportunity to quickly research the patient’s medication record to determine if she has a medication ordered for nausea. Upon return, the nursing assistant hands you the following vital signs: T 37, R 18, and BP 132/54, but states she couldn’t get the patient’s pulse because “it is all over the place.”
Please address the following questions related to the scenario.
- What do you suspect is the cause of the patient’s symptoms?
- Describe the course of action that you will take to confirm this suspicion and prevent further decline.
- What further assessments, lab values, and tests will likely be ordered for this patient and how often? If testing is to be completed more than once, please explain the rationale for doing so.
- While you are caring for this patient, how will you ensure that the needs of your other patients are being met?
2. Case Study: A 65-year-old woman was just been diagnosed with Stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She was informed of this diagnosis in her primary care physician’s office. She leaves her physician’s office and goes home to review all of her tests and lab results with her family. She goes home and logs into her PHR. She is only able to pull up a portion of her test results. She calls her physician’s office with concern. The office staff discussed that she had gone to receive part of her lab work at a lab not connected to the organization, part was completed at the emergency room, and part was completed in the lab that is part of the doctor’s office organization.
The above scenario might be a scenario that you have commonly worked with in clinical practice. For many reasons, patients often receive healthcare from multiple organizations that might have different systems.
As you review this scenario, reflect and answer these questions for this discussion.
- What are the pros and cons of the situation in the case study?
- What safeguards are included in patient portals and PHRs to help patients and healthcare professionals ensure safety?
- Do you agree or disagree with this process?
- What are challenges for patients that do not have access to all of the EHRs? Remember, only portions of the EHRs are typically included in the PHRs.