An external review on the death of a Black woman doctor found the “medical management and technical care” she received from Indiana University Health did not contribute to her death. But the review also found a lack of empathy and compassion in the delivery of her care, according to a news release from IU Health Wednesday.
Dr. Susan Moore died last December from complications related to COVID-19. In a viral Facebook video, she alleged racial bias played a role in inadequate care she received at IU Health North Hospital.
The review panel was made up of six outside health care experts— four of whom are Black. The panel found cultural competence was not practiced by all providers and several lacked awareness of implicit racial bias in Moore’s care.
The review panel interviewed more than 30 individuals involved directly or indirectly with Moore’s care. The panel also reviewed medical documents, IU Health’s internal review of the case and other information on the organization.
IU Health President Dennis Murphy accepts the panel’s findings. He said providers may not have fully understood Moore’s needs and concerns.
“I think the core issue was, were they listening to a patient and understanding and fully appreciating the concerns that they were expressing?” Murphy said. “Were you providing whole person care versus treating it as just solely a disease or a condition.”
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The panel recommends IU Health improve the delivery of patient care and increase cultural competence and awareness of implicit bias within the organization.
Murphy said these recommendations align with how IU Health hopes to move forward.
“We are extremely committed to becoming a truly diverse, equitable and inclusive organization,” Murphy said.
All staff members will undergo diversity, inclusion and equity training and assessment of these efforts will be part of performance reviews. The organization will also hire a chief equity health officer.
The law firm Langer & Langer represents Moore’s estate and released a statement on the review and IU Health’s response.
In the statement, Moore’s son Henry “appreciates the genuine thoughtfulness and commitment to change that IU Health has promised to pursue. It is his greatest hope that his mother’s legacy brings about a fair, culturally accountable health care system.”