Delivery of Care

A sprung mousetrap in the exam room

It was bad the first time; it was worse the second time, a week later, when the same sprung mousetrap was still apparently there

Photo by patient

What could be worse than finding a sprung mousetrap in your exam room?

Photo by patient

Finding the same sprung mousetrap in the same exam room, a week later.

By Richard Asinof
Posted 5/6/19
A sprung mouse trap [without any bait or a mouse] in a exam room where you are a patient raises some important questions, particularly after the same spent mouse trap is there a week later.
Should the incident of apparent unsanitary conditions be reported to the R.I. Department of Health? What are the potential repercussions to the patient for reporting what appears to be a breach in sanitary conditions?
Despite the advocacy of groups such as the R.I. Business Group on Health in promoting its “Choosing Wisely,” asking patients to push back on what may be unnecessary tests and procedures, the real world situation is that doctors do not necessarily respond well when patients do push back, and it can put the patient’s health at risk.

PROVIDENCE – It is a small question with big implications: What happens if you are a patient, escorted into an exam room, and you find a “sprung” mousetrap on the floor of the exam room? What is the proper protocol to follow?

Do you point it out to the caregiver? Check. Do you let the director of the facility know, sending them a photograph? Check.

What happens when you return for another appointment at the facility, a week later, and the sprung mousetrap is apparently still there? [See second image above.]

Should the R.I. Department of Health be notified? What is the best course of action to take?


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