Followers of our “gimme my data” series will get a rough-edged refresher about current reality by the well-written and raw story of @WilliamDale_MD’s Sunday post Medical Health Record: A Personal Journey Down the Rabbit Hole. A great narrative by a physician who simply needed vaccination records for his son’s school – and who refused to use his position to blast past his own hospital’s bureaucracy:
The worst part was THIS WAS MY OWN HOSPITAL where I had worked for the past 8 years, the last 3 as a section chief. I never ask for special treatment, and I was not going to get any special treatment — which meant I was going wrestle with The System like anyone else.
He also provides a great learned analysis of the problems he encountered, separating “system issues” from “people issues.”
Funny how his mood seems to match what was said of medical mural activist Regina Holliday, whose husband Fred’s hospital called her “Little Miss Type A personality” in a similar situation. Except Fred was dying.
Give us our damned data. Dammit!
Thanks to @tbtam’s @GrandRounds “Twitter edition” this week. A highly skimmable new format for medblogger Grand Rounds!
After we were given the horrific news that my bonus mom had 72 hours left to live, we were in shock and just wanted to do whatever we could to see Julie smile as often as we could.
In a rare moment of awake, she inquired about her bandages being changed (she had a few spots covered to prevent exposure to the rest of us but did have a MRSA infection combating sepsis while also being there in the first place for Stage IV bladder cancer). We inquired about the wound change. The nurse gave us a pitiful look that said “we don’t change the bandages when there’s no point, she’s dying.”
Hours later, my father, who was a new hire to the hospital and a recruited OB/GYN and past head of OB, inquired as to the bandages change. The nurse said she’d send the request to the doctor again.
A few more hours, another request.
Finally, my father, shaking and furious with frustration and sorrow went to the corner pharmacy, bought tape and gauze and went upstairs to change the wound bandages on his wife, himself.
The nurse saw this and called the doctor in a panic (per protocol) and the doctor came down to give us all a stern talking to about disobeying his orders to not change the bandage because it didn’t have a purpose at this point.
The purpose wasn’t medicinal. The purpose was personal.
Data, bandages, etc. it all comes down to respect. Respect us.
Give patience to patients. Give love.
To ALL patients.
Wow. Thank you for sharing this story.
A similar situation happened to me when my father was hospitalized. He had Stage IV liver cancer, and this was toward the end. They refused to tape down his IV more securely so it wasn’t irritating his arm at the site of placement.
A nurse found me rummaging through the supply cabinets on the floor in search of tape. She asked me what I was doing. I looked her directly in the eye and answered calmly but firmly. Perhaps it was the look on my face, but she didn’t pursue the issue.
I had been at the hospital daily with my father and went over his chart each day when I arrived. I had to ask repeatedly for updates to the chart, such as labs and other test results because the information just wasn’t there. Maybe they were used to me by the time I was found going through their supply cabinets.