Dr. Aloha Bryson has had a degree of difficulty locating another position in North Carolina since the incident. She is viewed as a whistleblower throughout the medical community in the state. Following on the heels of Dr. Bryson's case is North Carolina legislators' decision to relinquish Medicare and Medicaid payments to Haywood Regional Medical Center. Some state inspections provided evidence of negligence on the part of the hospital. In one inspection, the state found what is being termed "immediate jeopardy" for the way in which hospital employees provided patients with medication. The investigation ensued by the state in January, 2008 after Bryson's reports.
Sixty-eight percent of the revenue that the hospital received was from Medicare and Medicaid payments for patient care. The hospital may have to either drastically reduce the number of employees or close its doors altogether. Some patients have already been moved to other medical care facilities.
The lawsuit from Bryson alleges that nurses were sleeping while on duty and using cellphones to send text messages. This is strongly prohibited at Haywood Regional Medical Center along with Internet usage. Nurses found engaging in these activities while on duty are supposed to be sent home immediately. A memo circulated through the nursing staff giving a direct message that this was their final warning about the situation.
Also, within the lawsuit Bryson reports that the administration told her not to write out formal reports, but to just meet with the risk manager in person. The hospital administration told Bryson to cater a breakfast for the nursing staff that were upset by her numerous reports. She was chaperoned from the hospital by security staff, while onlookers of patients and staff watched her departure on December 3, 2007. Bryson was employed by an employment contractor, PrimeDoc Management Services Inc., who told her on December 4, 2007 that she could choose to either be fired or resign her position.
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By Delsia Hartford