Conference Case Study 2022

The following is a fictional case study based on real occurrences in healthcare.

Your conference team must read the case study and create a 10 minute presentation answering the bolded case question. Included below the study are several guiding questions to consider incorporating into your answer.

Remember to focus on patient safety and healthcare quality improvement in your answer.

BACKGROUND

It is January, 2022 and the QIVID-20 pandemic is underway. QIVID-20 is a highly contagious virus originating in southeast Asia that spreads via bodily fluids and causes flu-like symptoms. Its fatality rate is low, however QIVID-related deaths are not uncommon in immunocompromised individuals. A vaccination program was approved by the FDA in late 2020 and three rounds of vaccinations have been administered to the general public since then – two initial inoculations, plus a third “booster” shot that improves immunity by up to 80%.

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CASE

You are the CEO of a children’s hospital with a world-renowned pediatric oncology ward. You are visiting the ward when Dr. Sheth, an oncology fellow, approaches you. She tells you that Dr. Smith, the medical director of the oncology ward, has refused to receive their QIVID-20 “booster” shot. 

 

Dr. Smith claims that since he received the first two vaccinations and was infected with QIVID in 2020, statistics show that he is protected against QIVID enough as it is. Dr. Smith has been diligent about wearing PPE, using proper sanitation techniques,  and following public health guidelines. He also claims that he had a horrible reaction to the first two vaccines and is worried getting a third shot might affect his health. 

 

Dr. Sheth voices her concerns: She is worried about the safety of her patients in the presence of a partially-vaccinated physician. The children in the oncology ward are all immunocompromised, and most are unvaccinated since the FDA has not yet approved vaccines for those under 12 years of age. Current provincial health policy only mandates two vaccinations for healthcare workers, yet human resources reports that 91% of all eligible staff at your hospital have received all three vaccinations. Dr. Sheth also points out that a few of her patients have developed coughs, chest pain, and high fevers in the past week – all signs of QIVID. She worries for her vulnerable patients in Dr. Smith’s presence.

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With patient safety and quality of care in mind,

how would you handle this situation?

GUIDING QUESTIONS

*Note that providing answers to these questions in your presentation is not mandatory, however you may want to consider these questions when formulating your answer.

  • Which factors would impact your decision?

  • Who would you involve in planning your solution?

  • What are other possible solutions? What makes these solutions unfavourable? 

  • As the CEO, should your priority be (a) supporting your physician’s integrity and wants, or (b) protecting the health of patients serviced by your institution? 

  • What would be the next steps for the CEO (i.e., who would you approach about this problem, who would actually take action)?

  • In situations like these, is it better to take a top-down approach (i.e., large-scale policies and procedural changes) or a bottom-up approach (i.e., determining procedures on an individual, case-by-case basis)?

  • Are there any times in Canada’s history when healthcare workers had to receive novel mandatory vaccinations? What policies/laws were put in place? What was the impact of these?

  • Other than vaccinations, what policies can be put in place during public health crises to protect the health of patients and physicians without sacrificing quality of care?