PCEM

The PCEM is the national collegial body of emergency medicine specialists in the country committed to quality, compassionate and socially-relevant service, research and training in emergency health care. It would like to accentuate its commitment to uphold the welfare, safety and security of the health workforce it represents and to decry any acts that may demean or compromise the conduct of the delivery of these emergency healthcare services.

POSITION STATEMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE COLLEGE OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE (PCEM) REGARDING EMERGENCY CARE, DOCTOR-SHAMING AND CYBER- BULLYING

The PCEM is the national collegial body of emergency medicine specialists in the country committed to quality, compassionate and socially-relevant service, research and training in emergency health care. It would like to accentuate its commitment to uphold the welfare, safety and security of the health workforce it represents and to decry any acts that may demean or compromise the conduct of the delivery of these emergency healthcare services.

In light of the recent events confronting the emergency departments and the emergency health workforce, PCEM presents its positions on the following issues:

BEST EMERGENCY CARE AT THE FOREFRONT

The setting of the emergency department presents unique challenges. Patients present with a myriad of complaints that can range from the minor to the catastrophic. They may present in the ED any time and do come in at the same time. This is why TRIAGE IS ESSENTIAL. Triage is a system of patient categorization based on the acuity of the case which enables quick identification and ensures immediate prioritization of the most gravely ill.

Triage is part of quality patient care. Undue interruptions to this process, including but not limited to disruptive personalities, can compromise the delivery of medical care.

An emergency physician’s priority is the patient – the vulnerable, the injured, the critical. PCEM advocates patient-centered triage protocols and policies to ensure that care is focused NOT on the TRIVIAL but on the VITAL.

RIGHT TO PRIVACY and CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE PATIENTS and ED WORKFORCE, CYBER-BULLYING and DOCTOR-SHAMING

The emergency department is no place for indiscriminate video recording as this shows disregard for the privacy of all patients and may even interfere with patient care (National Privacy Commissioner Atty. Ivy Patdu).

Video recording without the consent of the patients and prioritizing this act in the guise of documentation over the supposed care the patient should receive is a violation of their rights and delays medical treatment.

Furthermore, video recording and releasing the resulting footage in social media and other media platforms without consent, in violation of RA 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012, are reprehensible acts that should not be condoned. Such damaging and illegal acts devalue the health worker and the patients’ right to confidentiality and privacy, and expose them to unwarranted abuse, threats and harassment.

Complaints and concerns should be coursed through proper channels. Medical professionals are committed to providing quality patient care at all times. We value the relationships we build with our patients and it is our ardent hope that we continue to practice our profession in an environment of mutual respect.

CALL TO ACTION

PCEM strongly advocates responsible use of social media and urges the general public to

exercise due respect and refrain from cyberbullying and doctor-shaming.

We condemn any and all acts that ridicule, abuse, and incite aggressive behavior which endanger the lives of the patients our hospital staff and cause extreme duress to the persons involved.

PCEM enjoins the rest of the health care community to uphold and protect the rights of our patients and health workforce.

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