Earlier this year, RaDonda Vaught, a former nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the death of a 75-year-old patient. Vaught had given the woman the wrong medication, and she accepted responsibility for the mistake immediately after her patient’s death as the hospital worked to understand what had gone wrong.
Crowds of healthcare workers applauded outside the courthouse last month when Vaught was given a diverted sentence, meaning she will serve no jail time if she completes probation. Still, she has lost the ability to work as a nurse, and many healthcare workers have expressed deep concern that a mistake made without malice would lead to a criminal conviction.
At her own sentencing, Vaught questioned how the case might affect nurses and would-be nurses and their willingness to self-report concerns about patient safety.
Should workers in skilled nursing be worried about similar scenarios playing out in their sector? With staffing shortages and an increased reliance on technology, attorneys Matt Keris and Drew Graham say it will pay to stay vigilant.
They’re the guests on this episode, which explores the medication error trial and its possible implications. McKnight’s Long-Term Care News Senior Editor Kimberly Marselas hosts.