"There was no behavior at the bedside of the patient, there was no compassion": a woman from Fremont expresses after her father had announced that he was on the point of dying by his doctor in video robot


FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) – A family from Fremont expresses it after a doctor told him via a "video robot" the announcement of the death of their grandfather.

Ernest Quintana, 78, died one day after the announcement of the failure of his lungs.

"My dad's reaction was, well, I guess I'll go quickly and lower my head, that's all," said his daughter Catherine Quintana.

A prognosis that would have been difficult to accept whatever the circumstances, became even more painful for the Quintana de Fremont family when the doctor used a robot to announce the bad news.

"The doctors said that he had no lungs left and that he needed comfort care, which would involve morphine infusion until death," Quintana said.

Annalisa Quintana, the 33-year-old patient's granddaughter, was the only family member in the hospital ward. When she saw a robot arrive with a doctor on the other side, she took out her phone and recorded the interaction. Annalisa's intention was to connect the information to the rest of the family.

"He could not understand the man, he could not hear them, the robot could not come into the room, he could not come so far, because it's a big machine. He could not get close enough, so there was no way to go to bed, he had no compassion, he was reading a script, "Quintana said.

Kaiser Permanente defends its use of technology to treat patients and confirms that according to its policy, a nurse or doctor is always in the room. In a statement to ABC7 News, Kaiser said: "The evening video conversation followed previous visits to the doctor and was not used to deliver the initial diagnosis" and added "We regret that our use of a video call did not meet the expectations of a compassionate experience of the Quintana family. "

In the video recorded by the granddaughter of Ernest Quintana, you can see a Kaiser employee in the background, but the doctor himself on video.

"I think that with regular care, it's okay to get tonsils or get simple test results, but not for people who are dying." End-of-life people are not dying. 39; agreement, "said Quintana.

The Quintana hope that this experience will change Kaisers' policy and allow patients to choose to seek medical attention in person or by video.

Statement by Michelle Gaskill-Hames, RN, Senior Vice President and Area Manager, Kaiser Permanente Greater Southern Alameda County

We are deeply sorry not to have met the expectations of the Quintana family. We offer our sincere condolences for the loss of their dear family member and friend. We also take their concerns very seriously and have contacted the Quintana family to answer them.

Our patients are our top priority at Kaiser Permanente. That's why the story of "robot diagnoses" over the last 24 hours is heartbreaking and shocking.

Unfortunately, very little of what is reported is accurate.

It is important to understand that we do not have robots that discuss with patients and do not pose a terminal diagnosis. The evening video conversation followed previous visits to the doctor and was not used for the initial diagnosis.

That said, we will take this opportunity to consider how to improve patient experience through video capabilities.

We discussed the diagnosis and prognosis of the case in person with the Quintana family and their loved one since entering our hospital. Our doctors and nurses were in regular contact and in person with the patient and his family about his condition. In order to allow an urgent evening consultation with a specialist doctor, a live conversation was conducted via a video connection. A nurse was in the room to accompany the video conversation, as it is the usual practice. We regret that our video call did not meet the expectations of a compassionate experience of the Quintana family.

When we provide these video conversations, they are always with a nurse or other doctor in the room with the patient and his family. The use of secure video conversations allows a small hospital to provide additional specialists for patient consultation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, improving the care provided and providing additional consultative expertise at the bedside. of the patient.

At Kaiser Permanente, our goal will always be to improve care and services. And, like all health care providers, we are continually learning to better integrate technologies into patient interactions – and we will continue to do so for the benefit of our patients.

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