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The significant role of whistleblowers in healthcare

| Apr 13, 2020 | Civil Litigation |

The term “whistleblower” has a negative stigma due to the negative reactions of whistleblowing from organizations and hospitals around the country. They frame whistleblowers as either disgruntled employees or anonymous sources who want to create more problems for the medical industry.

However, whistleblowing is the exact opposite. Most whistleblowers are staff members who want to ensure the safety of patients and raise any concerns surrounding the behaviors of a specific organization or medical professional.

Safe treatments depend on whistleblowers

Healthcare fraud takes shape in many forms and covers everything from providers, treatments and even the pharmaceuticals used. So it’s critical that whistleblowers speak out against unethical or illegal behavior in order to help current and future patients from mistreatment.

However, most staff members express concerns surrounding the negative stigma of whistleblowing and the risks of reporting fraudulent activity may have on their careers. It’s important to know that an employer cannot take adverse action against employees, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It includes actions like:

  • Firing or laying off
  • Demoting
  • Denying overtime or promotion
  • Disciplining
  • Denying benefits
  • Failing to hire or rehire
  • Reducing pay or hours
  • Blacklisting

While whistleblowing may sound intimidating, the benefits far outweigh the risks, especially when you consider the damage unsafe care or conditions have on future patients. There are significant reasons why government entities encourage nurses, healthcare staff and patients to come forward about fraudulent actions.

Do not wait for another patient to experience suffering under unsafe conditions. You can file a complaint either online, through the mail, on the telephone or in-person at a local OSHA office.