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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Perfectly Run Health Care System

I am appalled.  Mistakes happen and will always happen.  Yet our medical system's safety net for when mistakes happen is to just cancel and reschedule even when there seems to be a problem with the patient.

Case in point of patient, Jane.

Experiencing issues with kidney stones and other renal problems in the last 6 months.  Seen multiple doctors, including specialists.  Based on initial treatment, problem seemed to resolve.  Months later it resurfaces (about a 3 weeks ago.)

Jane goes to family care doctor.  Jane then referred to see kidney doctor in the next 2 days.  Jane can not get scheduled for 2.5 weeks even though the doctor wants her seen with in 2 days.  She waits it out, but pain continues and her condition worsens.  Finally she is in for testing.  They can not find the proper paper work and almost do the wrong test.

Second round of testing scheduled today.  Goes in for test, but unfortunetly they did not schedule  a blood test to confirm that her kidneys are filtering properly before they administer today's CT scan dye.  Testing is cancelled for the day.  Jane states her pain is unbearable.

They proceed to tell her to go to the emergency room. Jane is alone at her appointment.  She drives home and then calls her daughter for a ride to the ER.  She is checked in at a desk and asked questions regarding insurance cards, drivers license and symptoms.  Then she is moved to triage and asked symptom questions again. She is given very unspecific directions about walking down a hallway to an elevator and to take it up to the 2nd floor.  She walks with out any support or direction from a nurse or staff.  Randomly roaming the hall and not having any idea where she is going.  She has stated that she is in pain at a level 7 on a scale of 1-10.

Upon reaching a room, that some random staff member who heard us talking about how we had no idea where we were going, took it upon themselves to show us, a nurse comes in and asked all the same questions again...she types them in...just as the first person did.  The nurse tries to read off the medications Jane is taking but the nurse can not pronounce them and it is really  uncertain if what is being discussed is correct.

Once the nurse leaves another doctor assistant comes in and proceeds to ask the same questions that the 3 staff members before her asked.  Simple questions of when did this start, what symptoms is she having and if she hears voices, drinks or smokes. (preceded by a statement that they ask all patients the same questions...why again do all patients get screened for hearing voices?) more person enters the room (this is the 5th person).  Asks for a drivers license and then proceeds to ask the same questions.  Really...this has to be a joke.

No staff member has offered any diagnosis.  They proceed to give her pain meds and take her blood (the test that wasn't scheduled properly is actually getting done).  Meantime they hooked her up to an I.V..

The doctor comes in and says that every thing looks normal and they are going to manage the pain and release her tonight for her test tomorrow.

The nurse returns and injects her with another medication...different than what she was originally given. She actually refused one medication, but later was actually given it.  This medication was much stronger. She now is high and about to be released.

When the nurse returns again, she says she has a urinary tract infection and she is going to treat that with an antibiotic which wasn't done by the previous doctor.  Why did the actual doctor that just saw her come in and say that everything looked normal when the nurse just said there were some findings on the blood test?

So let's review....a test was mis-scheduled this morning.  That can happen...but why would one cancel the wrong test and send her to the ER?  Her actual doctor wasn't in that day and because they say they don't have any orders to make a change, her treatment stops and is passed off to the ER?  Wouldn't it save everyone a lot of time and money to administer a blood test at the lab in the office and write a script for pain meds until the next day for testing?  An attending couldn't do that?

The scene in the ER had a separate floor of patients with minor acute symptoms that should have been seen by their primary care doctors.  All day long I have a respiratory infection, you are constipated, you have a urinary tract infection...not to mention we heard everything that went on with the woman in the same room as well as other rooms.  (well...there was a curtain)

Where is the sanity in this?  Everyone, except the doctor, looked like they were poorly groomed, lazy and uneducated.  What kind of a system do we have again?  Mind you....this was the Cleveland Clinic.  Where did we see the world renown care?  It was rare to see a customer service minded staff member there.  They all looked like zombies.  It would be beneficial to note that their cafeteria was beautiful...yet I smelled musty smells on the patient hospital room floors upon entering and not to mention the spray of chemical that was constantly being sprayed in the halls and the rooms to disinfect. (which it really didn't look clean on this floor in the hospital).

Do you know how much money just changed hands in this scenario? We don't know yet because we haven't seen the bill.  I will tell you it cost a hell of a lot more than drawing blood in the doctors office and writing a script for a days worth of pain meds. Go figure.....S.O.S

Oh...btw....upon leaving, I asked a staff member if they had recycling on this floor (to recycle my water bottle) and they said they didn't know.  As I turned around....10 feet from the desk was a huge blue trash receptacle for what?...yes...recycling.  I pointed it out to him and he replied that he was new.  Doesn't everyone one know that the universal color for recycling is blue...especially a staff member that needs to know that red is for bio-hazard..... I am really afraid.  We better figure out how to avoid going to the hospital and prevent disease sooner rather than later. Mind=Blown.

Reform this!

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