What This Blog is About

A long time mentor and friend, Cicely Berry, often says: "all we do comes from our need to survive".

Cis is the Voice Director of The Royal Shakespeare Company. Her profound work and deep appreciation of the human spirit has affected diverse communities all over the world.

Will take you to my current work.

This blog is dedicated to the belief that the overall health of a community or organization is a clear reflection of their ability to communicate.

"Cada cabeza es un mundo" - Cuban proverb

"Every head is a world"

Saturday, January 5, 2008

I Am on the Side of the Health Care Professional

Just wanted to be clear about a previous post and troubling hospital experience that I described.

I firmly believe that we have a nation of health care professionals whose skills and intentions are not fully understood or implemented in our current system.

Ask a doctor how deeply the current payer system inhibits their use of knowledge and experience. And, take a closer look at why dedicated workers' morale is at issue.

There are great areas of innovation in our system however, and this is encouraging. Mass General's Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine for example. http://www.mbmi.org/about/whoweare_staff.asp

I am no expert. That is the point. Let's work to allow the experts to practice, support younger minds to develop and patients to become more articulate and accountable.

This week's New England Journal of Medicine announcement that one is safer to have a heart attack in an airport or hotel rather than a hospital is an example of speed to react. Communication within hospitals is a major issue.

We cannot pretend that our system is "the best in the world" when it is not.
The study focuses on equipment. Tools, whether they are technology based or mechanical are meant to carry out our intentions.

Communication and ease of transferring knowledge and information is fundamental. Electronic Medical Records require a significant cultural change and business transformation. While there is all this discussion regarding privacy, it was difficult to transfer the records of my wife's emergency stay in one hospital to her doctors and the hospital where the surgery occurred. Turns out to be a fax permission form that had no security really and a burdonsome process for action.

"Most hospitals rely on traditional defibrillators, which can be more cumbersome and time-consuming, and usually require a doctor. But newer defibrillators, which cost about $500 each and can be found in many airports and hotels, are much faster and easier to use. Because they are fully automated, the machine decides whether a shock is needed, and quickly administers it — so that anyone can use it quickly."

One article I read about this study suggests that Casinos are safer places to have a heart attack than a hospital. Casinos always communicate. They literally and figuratively almost always know where their money is at any time. It is no surprise that they can respond to a heart attack faster than a hospital can.

PS: The hospital where my wife had the surgery that seems to have resulted in a pneumonia called today to see how she is doing. Today is January 5th. The surgery was December 21st. They had no idea of what had occurred and how she needed to be treated at another hospital in emergency. In spite of having visited the surgeon several days ago and informing him on December 26th. Normally, this hospital calls one day after the surgery.

When I asked the surgeon if this kind of pneumonia was common during surgery he said "it is very common, well not very common".

My question to him is: How are you measuring what is common? You have not reported this to your hospital. Where is the data to support your response. What seems common to me, is lack of communication and consistent reporting of incidents.

New England Journal of Medicine heart attacks in hospitals


Why Hospitals Are Dangerous Places for Heart Attacks - Jan 3, 2008


No comments: