Robot told patient he had days to live

Modesto Morganelli
Marzo 11, 2019

"We will use this as an opportunity to review how to improve patient experience with tele-video capabilities", she added. Her grandfather Ernest Quintana, 78, died the next day.

"This is the robot doctor that came into Cathie's father's ICU room late Monday night and told him he has no lungs left, only option is comfort care".

"This secure video technology is a live conversation with a physician using tele-video technology, and always with a nurse or other physician in the room to explain the goal and function of the technology", Ms Gaskill-Hames said.

A doctor told a man he was going to die via robot videolink. "The evening video tele-visit was a follow-up to earlier physician visits - it did not replace previous conversations with patient and family members and was not used in the delivery of the initial diagnosis".

Ms Wilharm, 33, figured the visit was routine.

Ms Wilharm said when Mr Quintana's wife complained a nurse told her it was the centre's "policy", but Michelle Gaskill-Hames, senior vice-president of Kaiser Permanente Greater Southern Alameda County, said in a statement the policy was to have a nurse or doctor in the room when remote consultations took place.

"The next thing I know he's telling him, "I got these MRI results back and there's no lungs left, there's nothing to work with".

After arriving at her husband's bedside, Mr Quintana's wife was told by a nurse "this is our policy, this is how we do things".

"You know, I don't know if he's going to get home", the doctor said.

A septuagenarian Californian learnt of his impending death through a video link, outraging his family, who protested against the dehumanised and robotic way in which the news was delivered.

The video meetings were warm and intimate, he said, adding that not all in-person discussions have empathy and compassion.

The hospital said it "regrets falling short" of the family's expectations.

"He was such a sweet guy", she said.

"We knew that it was coming and that he was very sick, but I don't think somebody should get that news delivered that way".

A friend of the family, Julianne Spangler, posted an image of the video call to Facebook.

Family friend Julianne Spangler slammed the hospital for its lack of care, saying this was "not the way to show value and compassion to a patient".

Gaskill-Hames, the hospital spokeswoman, said the health care provider is "continuously learning how best to integrate technology into patient interactions".

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