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Alabama Flu outbreak change standard of care

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Notanewbie View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 14 2018 at 8:31am

MONTGOMERY – Gov. Kay Ivey issued a State Public Health Emergency on Thursday afternoon, responding to the overwhelming number of people affected by the statewide outbreak of influenza and the subsequent demands placed on health-care providers.

The proclamation calls for the use of appropriate state agencies to assist communities where the outbreak is widespread and authorizes health-care providers to implement their emergency operation plans to provide “alternative standards of care” in response to a large number of people affected by the flu.

In her statement, Ivey acknowledged that, because health-care facilities are so overwhelmed, patients can no longer expect “normal, traditional, customary care” for their medical condition. Therefore, she has authorized the emergency care plans of medical facilities to qualify as the “standard of care” outlined in the state’s code.

“Standard of care” is defined in section 6-5-542(2) of the Code of Alabama and reads as follows:

“The standard of care is that level of such reasonable care, skill, and diligence as other similarly situated health care providers in the same general line of practice, ordinarily have and exercise in like cases. A breach of the standard of care is the failure by a health care provider to comply with the standard of care, which failure proximately causes personal injury or wrongful death. This definition applies to all actions for injuries or damages or wrongful death whether in contract or tort and whether based on intentional or unintentional conduct.”

Ivey’s declaration would appear to give medical-care facilities the ability during the declared emergency to make reasonable adjustments to normal standards of care, given the large number of patients seeking treatment for flu symptoms.The proclamation states that the changes are to remain in effect until they are rescinded by the governor.
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