HRM wins award for Katrina coverage

The Specialized Information Publishers Foundation (SIPF) has awarded the 2007 Award for Editorial Excellence to Healthcare Risk Management for its coverage of the criminal allegations against health care providers that arose after Hurricane Katrina. The SIPF awarded HRM Second Place for Best Interpretive or Analytical Reporting.

After surviving the hurricane, Anna Pou, MD, and three nurses were accused of conspiring to kill several patients with lethal injections — supposedly to get rid of patients who could not be evacuated, which would in turn free the staff to leave. The doctor and the nurses vehemently denied murdering anyone, but the local prosecutor pursued criminal charges before a grand jury. The grand jury recently refused to indict. The big lesson for risk managers was that, regardless of whether the allegations are proven, the situation at Memorial Medical Center forced the staff to make nearly impossible decisions as they valiantly tried to care for their patients.