The University of Maryland Medical System is investigating an incident at its midtown campus in Baltimore in which a woman is seen on video outside the hospital wearing just a gown.
The video shows what looks like four security guards, one with a wheelchair, walking away from a bus stop outside the hospital on the outskirts of Mount Vernon. A woman is seen near the bus stop dressed in a gown and socks. Her belongings are packed in plastic bags that have also been placed at the bus stop.
The video, which went viral, was posted to Facebook by Imamu Baraka, who is described in an online professional profile as a mental health counselor
“I just witnessed this with my own eyes,” Baraka wrote in his post. “I had no choice but to give this young lady a voice in this moment.”
Officials with the medical system said in a statement that they are investigating the incident, which took place Tuesday night. They said they shared the “shock and disappointment” that others who saw the video probably felt. The women was being discharged from the emergency department, they said.
“This unfortunate event is not representative of our patient-centered mission,” the statement said. “While there are many circumstances of this patient’s case that we cannot address publicly, in the end we clearly failed to fulfill our mission with this patient, no matter the circumstances of her case or the quality of the clinical care we provided in the hospital (which is not depicted in the video).”
Baraka could not be reached for comment. He is heard in the video asking the security detail several times why they put the woman out of the hospital.
“Y’all are just going to leave this lady out here with no clothes?” Baraka asks, noting how cold it is outside.
One of the guards eventually responds: “Due to the circumstances of what happened.”
Baraka then asks why they don’t call police. He also asks to speak to a supervisor. One of the security people said that he is the supervisor.
Baraka asks the woman, who looks disoriented, if she needs help. She screams and moves her hands around but doesn’t talk.
In his Facebook post, Baraka admonishes the hospital for how the woman was treated.
“University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus (UMMC) as a Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA) student — may I remind you of the importance of the VISION of your MEDICAL CENTER,” he wrote. “ ‘UMMC will be known for providing high value and compassionate care, improving health in Maryland and beyond, educating future health care leaders and discovering innovative ways to advance medicine worldwide.’ You can do better. You must do better.”
Hospital officials said they are still working to determine how to respond.
“We are taking this matter very seriously, conducting a thorough review, and are evaluating the appropriate response, including the possibility of personnel action,” the statement said.