UMMC CEO: 'Hospital failed to show basic humanity and compassion' to patient in video
BALTIMORE (WBFF) - The president and CEO of University of Maryland Medical Center's Midtown campus admitted his hospital failed to show "basic humanity and compassion" for what happened to the patient recently released on the streets of Baltimore.
The woman, dressed only in a hospital gown and socks in frigid temperatures appeared disoriented and distressed in a video that went viral Wednesday.
Dr. Mohan Suntha, president and CEO of UMMC, stood in a packed conference room Thursday where reporters peppered him with questions, including: What hospital employee thought it a good idea to have the woman released on the street in those conditions?
"We are going through the review process, interviewing employees, everyone involved in the care of this patient to understand where it is that that decision was made to allow that to occur," said Suntha.
Imamu Baraka recorded the video, posted it on Facebook and called 911 to get help for the woman.
Baraka, a psychotherapist, said that night he had just walked out of his office, which is across the street from the hospital, when he saw the events unfold.
"For a moment, I didn't see anything strange," said Baraka. "But then the wind blew and her hospital gown rose and I saw all of her glory and then I realized that something was wrong here," he added.
At the news conference, Suntha apologized to the woman and her family.
"I also want to be clear that we do not believe what occurred Tuesday night in any way defines who we are as an organization," said Suntha.
But as for those involved, Baraka believes "they need to go and my message to those who are in leadership, this happened on your watch, fix it."
Wednesday, the hospital issued a statement, saying:
"We share the shock and disappointment of many who have viewed the video showing the discharge of a patient from the Emergency Department of UMMC Midtown the night of January 9. This unfortunate event is not representative of our patient-centered mission.
"While there are many circumstances of this patient’s case that we cannot address publicly, in the end we clearly failed to fulfill our mission with this patient, no matter the circumstances of her case or the quality of the clinical care we provided in the hospital (which is not depicted in the video). We are taking this matter very seriously, conducting a thorough review, and are evaluating the appropriate response, including the possibility of personnel action."