One evening last week a man presented to a Columbus, OH urgent care center after an altercation in which he was shot in the abdomen. Local news reports say it was over some sort of “transaction” that the victim declined to close. Gunfire and the life-threatening injury ensured. Ultimately, the man was transported from the urgent care center to the hospital, but the disposition isn’t what should make this case interesting to you. Urgent care centers, like all healthcare facilities, have certain rights and obligations when it comes to crime and law enforcement. Say prescription pads or drugs go missing, or police show up asking if a particular person sought treatment there, or, as in this case, the victim of a crime presents for treatment. Would you and your staff know what’s appropriate to share with authorities? Where does the patient’s right to privacy end and law enforcement’s right to know begin? Failing to understand these distinctions could land you in hot water. JUCM covered this issue thoroughly in an article entitled, Law Enforcement and Healthcare: When Consent, Privacy, and Safety Collide. You can read it in our archive.
A Gunshot Victim Stumbles into Your Urgent Care Center. Would You Know What to Do?