A hospital in Nova Scotia has rewritten waiting time rules and end-of-life protocols in response to the disturbing story of how a 68-year-old man, Jack Webb dying from pancreatic cancer languished for six hours in an ER hallway.
A report on the death of Webb says that as of July 1, the Halifax Infirmary requires internal medicine specialists to meet their patients within two hours when transferred to the hospital after being seen by another facility.
Under the changes, medical students will be guided in simulated conversations on how to talk to dying patients like Webb about their prognosis. In addition, a written “goals of care” form is being introduced that documents the varying types of care patients with terminal diseases want to receive.
It also says that “unstable” patients in ER are to be admitted to the hospital “after a direct conversation” between emergency and the senior internist.