Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who Fights For Patients In The Hospital IF They Don't Have An Advocate ?

Seriously, do you think I like being a bitch? Do you think like I like hovering and calling you out when you drop the ball regarding patient care in a clinical setting??

Do you think I like writing ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING regarding my mother’s care and course of treatment in my ever present blue notebook?

Do you think it pleases me to call out Hospital Customer Services who seem to run in circles but never seem to actually get anything accomplished.

Sidebar: I know how hard Customer Service is - I worked CS for 2 years for a major computer company when I first moved to Philadelphia, plus I waitressed in both High School & college, so for me to complain about Customer Service- There has to be some major issues.

Here’s the thing, my mother is your patient at YOUR hospital - She is YOUR client and I am her representative.

She’s been there for 3.5 weeks and has been in 4 different departments. I don’t want to hear: Oh, but that didn’t happen in my department. Or, "She's not my patient so no, I can't help your mother in anyway, shape or form.

Since I seem to be the only one tracking my mother through ALL FOUR DEPARTMENTS at YOUR health care facility,

I demand both information and respect. And YES, of course it would be fantastic if the hospital actually had a Patient Advocacy Department who's primary goal would be to provide a point person for the patient, who had the patient’s back and and acted as the primary Communion Officer for said patient between the various departments ( i.e. emergency room ICU, PCU, Telemetry, etc) that the patient goes through. But since that’s not an option, you're stuck with me.

So when I ask questions regarding her day to day care, don’t look at me like I have 3 heads. I’m advocating for her, and I’d like a report from her Hospitalist and Specialists on a daily basis.

Why is it so difficult to have a chain of communication in your healthcare facility that doesn't have any "kinks" in it?

Why are patients & their family members talked AT and AT YOUR CONVENIENCE, instead of TO and WITH on a daily basis?

I have a right to know what’s going on and so does she. I want to know what the specialists say and I want a report - Lord knows we’re paying for it. You get your bills out to us ASAP, ( no kinks in that department I see,) how come you don’t answer our questions and our set aside a time to meet with the patients family ASAP?

And to the nurse with the bleached blond hair who never even worked on my mother and who got all snarky with me yesterday and called me “HONEY” in a none too pleasing tone. A. I'm not your HONEY, and B. Don’t look all surprised when I call you HONEY in the same “none too pleasing tone” and rattle off facts that you’ve obviously gotten wrong about what’s actually going on with my mother, HONEY!

And to those fabulous nurses & techs (and there are so many I can’t even name them all) who have been nothing but kind, caring, professional and loving towards my mother- I thank you and my family and I appreciate all that you’ve done and continue to do for my mother.

I will write you all a proper Thank-You very soon, but until then I hope that you've enjoyed the Starbucks gift certificates and coffee my family has given you as token of how much we appreciate all that you do. It was just our way of saying "THANKS FOR GOING THE EXTRA MILE WITH OUR MOM!"

And a big thanks to the Respiratory Therapists, Physical Therapists, Kitchen Service workers & Some of The Doctors who have been kind, communicative and caring.

But to the Hospital Administrators who I WILL be meeting with in the very near future,

I’d like it to let it be known publicly, that every night when I leave your hospital after visiting my mother, (FYI: ironically, it’s really modern and well respected hospital) I’m left wondering what the hell the patients in there do if they don’t have anyone advocating for them - And I know that my siblings feel the same.

Who fights for patients? Who and or where is the constant line of communication between the various hospital departments for them.... And who’s keeping track about what is and what isn't happening? And seriously.... who has their backs???


Anonymous said...

I consider advocacy important whether it's family or friends. So many patients don't realize how important it is to ask questions and what questions to ask.

Betty Jackson

Unknown said...


You're amazing.

I see change coming...and Kelly at the wheel.

Much love to you, my friend.

Cara said...

I'm glad your mother has you. Often times older patients end up with major issues because they can't advocate for themselves & have no one that cares enough to do it for them.
As a diabetic, my greatest fear is being hospitalized. That's sad.

Amy @ Lymeadvokit said...

Way to go Kelly! You know I understand all too well after having to fight for myself for the past 3 years. It is a travesty of our medical system that patients fall through the cracks because no one is paying attention to the big picture for them. It is imperative that patients have an advocate, whether it be a family member, friend, or partner. Don't give up the fight, and I do hope you meet with those hospital administrators and school them big time. You should also file an official complaint with the American Medical Association or some such organization. Keep up the good fight.

Girl Schmuck said...

Ah, My mom use to say, "squeaky wheel gets the oil". And it's people like you and my brother Kelly who do fight like hell and get answeres. But Many times the doctors and specialist like to believe that we just TRUST them and nod our head and accept what they tell us. THis is why, after the shock has worn off... many people turn to attorneys in wrongful death suits.

I will be praying for mom. I will be praying for your guidence and challenging decisions regaurding your mom. I will be praying for your families peace. Stick together in a strong team. If they can ignore you they will. So come against them in a team force.

Amy in Florida

Kelly Booth said...

It scares the crap out of me that I will end up there some day and no one gets it.

Colleen said...

Did that for several years with my dad, at the hospital and nursing homes. I kept notes on every single thing. The good and the not so good. It's a lot of work but you're doing it for your mom and so, it's worth every bit of time that it takes. And yes, thank God she has you there. But then, as I told my dad, he'd done the same for me for many years just raising us.

Mike Hoskins said...

Your mom is so lucky to have you asking those important questions and demanding accountability... it's scary to think of those who don't. That is a fear of mine, too. Thanks for being that voice, and for raising the questions generally - after all, it's about the PATIENT WELL-BEING and not the information or billing. At least, that's how it SHOULD be...

Kelly said...

We went through the same issues when my Dad was hospitalized...its SO frustrating, SO hard. I feel for you right now! We called several meetings as well...keep at it and they WILL listen, eventually!!!

Unknown said...

I am shocked that the hospital doesn't have a Patient Advocate. Many do. Is there a Patient Relations department??? Someone that you can voice your concerns to?

Your mom is so lucky to have you. Keep up the good work. I know it has got to be draining. The DOC stands behind you with our love, thoughts, and prayers. xo

Meagan said...

So very glad that your mom has you to stand up for her and ensure proper care. I was hospitalized and the nurses were scolding me for having high blood sugar (though I wasn't eating anything) sister (thank God she was there) found my I.V. disconnected and dripping on the floor, I wasn't getting any insulin! It is so important having someone there to fight for your rights...sad that we have to. Still praying for your mom's recovery. xoxo

Meri said...

Keep fighting the good fight Kelly! The squeaky wheel gets the grease...squeak it up friend!

Love you!!

Anonymous said...

right on Sister...well done and right on the money...cathy

Nancy Falkow - Mc Bride said...