Thursday, March 09, 2006

More nasty comments

More nasty comments over on Kevin MD.

Here's my reply:

Judging by the vehement response, I have clearly touched a nerve. It is precisely this defense of the indefensible that is responsible for a great deal of the misery in the current health care system.

Time management experts agree that hospitals (including ERs) are run in a grossly ineffiecient manner. Quoting from The Boston Globe:

"Boston Medical Center, the city's safety net hospital, is becoming a model of how to bring relief to the nation's beleaguered emergency rooms, reducing treatment delays and closures to ambulances when ERs are more crowded than ever. BMC emergency doctors are treating more patients than they did last year and have reduced average time in the waiting room from 60 minutes to 40 minutes.

The secret lies in a radical idea for medicine, but one that has guided airport managers and restaurant hostesses for years: Keep the customers moving.

Urged on by a Boston University consultant, the hospital is eliminating obstacles that force patients to needlessly remain in the ER. It is cleaning up empty hospital rooms faster and rescheduling elective surgeries so surgery patients don't take up beds that emergency patients need.

Meanwhile, ER nurses stationed in the waiting area assess a patient's condition within minutes of arrival and then use a color-coded chart to track how long patients have been waiting."
So it's pretty obvious that there is lots of room for improvement in the delivery of care in the ER.

The topic of my blog has made some of you angry; you may not have noticed the subtitle: A Doctor's Plea to the Healthcare Profession.

So here's my plea to you:

Open your mind to the possibility that there is room for improvement in the miserable state of healthcare delivery. Consider how you, your office and your hospital might be part of that process. I'm not talking about doing more than what you do; I'm talking about pushing for efficiency and common courtesy. Most of all I am talking about opening your eyes to the misery all around you and realizing that you have the responsibility to improve the delivery of care.


Blogger Kim said...

Keep the patients moving!


That is the key to a smooth ER.

Patient turnover leads to greater pt. satisfaction.

Also, if doctors would educate their patients on what constitutes an emergency and be available for consult (or share calls) after hours, it would decrease the use of the ER for clinical, non-urgent issues.

We can all do our part to help.

10:07 PM  

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