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Kaiser Permanente Employee commits Patient Abuse

The following is a letter I received from a Kaiser Permanente Patient.  This patient does not wish harm to any employee but does wish that all employees take note of what has taken place.  He stresses that not all Kaiser Permanente employee/caregivers are "bad".  He also in this letter went on to write that he has written to Kaiser Permanente commendng specific employees for the wonderful job they are doing. He also has contacted Kaiser regarding this incident and they have not responded. 

This letter was written because a gentleman thought it appropriate that not only the public but Kaiser Permanente employees see how their actions are being viewed.  We are all human and we all have bad days but not correcting your mistakes is inappropriate, immature behavior.

If a healthcare worker conducts themselves in an unprofessional manner than the right thing for them to do is to at least formally apologize to the patient that they have humiliated and brought disgrace upon.  Until they address their own error in a mature, professional manner they will no longer have credibility with the patient population.



My complaint is simple. 
I don't want retribution or anything for myself from it.  

Recently I was diagnosed with HIV, and most recently I broke up with my boyfriend (I am gay).  I have been out of work on disability since Feb 19 for HIV related illness.  My Infectious Disease doctor had "Scheduled" my return to work for April 29.  The week before the 29th, I broke up with my boyfriend and became severly depressed.  I unfortunately reverted back to old patterns and used chemicals to hide the pain.  Upon my realizing what I was doing I called my Psych doc to get a referral to what I thought I needed (Chemical dependancy program)...this was April 28.  They referred me to CD at Santa Theresa. I was told that before they would see me I had to be triaged in the ER.  By May 5, I was in CDRP Santa Clara Day program.   

Now the problem :

On Friday May 7, after lunch, I asked the staff member "unidentified" if he had seen my assigned counselor. He responded harshly with "Do you have an appointment". To which I responded "No".  He asked me to meet him in the common area after lunch to discuss my disability. The staff member responded with "No, I did not see him", then proceded to comment on how loud my car stereo was as I drove in in the morning (Before classes begin).
 
He commented that I should turn it down to which I half heartly and reluctlantly agreed.  He then followed it up by saying the he would not fill out my disability paperwork unless I complied with his request.  I was infuriated by this but calmly replied that I do not respond well to threats.  At this point he SHOUTED at me in the common area in front of other patients and staff "Turn it down, its not your parking lot" to  which I responded calmly "It's not yours either". He said "Your attitude is noted" and I said "So is yours".

Please keep in mind that at no time did I raise my voice and the incident with the radio was over 5 hours prior.   Also keep in mind that people in Chemical Dependancy Recovery (me) are naturally irritable from dealing with withdrawls and dealing with the intensity of the program all day.

I do not put up with verbal abuse and psychological intimidation in my personal relationships, and at work. And I certainly won't put up with it from my health care provider.  

This may seem trivial compared to some things that go on in Kaiser, but my concern is for the next patient that may not be as stable and well adjusted and strong as myself. What if the next patient he does this to goes out to his/her car and gets a weapon and shoots up the place?

Luckily I have very good control over my emotions even during times of high stress.

As with any abusive "relationship" I left the CDRP.  The other patients were very shocked by this event and still call me to this day to see that I am OK. 

As of today, CDRP (unidentified employee) refuses to sign off on extension of my disability for the time I was in their "care".  They also would not sign my return to work papers. (I got my primary care physician to do this for me).

Once again.. I don't care or want anything for myself.  But I do want this incident documented, and if this Kaiser employee has a history, Kaiser needs to take the appropriate steps. My thoughts are truely for the next patient or innocent bystander.  

The proper way to handle this situation would be for the employee to not allow his emotions to become involved in any patient's case.  If others had complained about the 1 minute my car stereo was loud while driving in in the morning, he could have quietly pullled me aside and gently put his hand on my shoulder and said "Can we talk about your car stereo I heard this morning".  Then kindly explain why it may be a problem and ask if I wouldn't mind turning it down for the benefit of the other patients.

I'm an Engineer and Manager at a local company with a great deal of education and behavioral training.  Its sad that I as a patient was forced into the position of having to be "The mature one".

Another patient  was so offended by the situation that he brought up the matter with the employee.  The employee called me at home the next day and asked why I left the program.  I told him he was the primary reason.  Suprisingly and to his credit, he apologised to me.  

This is why I wish nothing in return or wish no harm to anyone.  

I simply wish a safe environment for patients to heal and recover without the added stress of their livelihood being taken away, by psychological intimidation, or verbal abuse.


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