Beth Schultz

Health Analytics to Give Patients Their Voice

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BethSchultz
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Re: Good Quote
BethSchultz   5/22/2014 7:41:08 AM
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Good plan, PC! You've reminded me of one a post-surgery recovery I experienced once. I'd been over-anesthesized, and a routine in and out of the post-op room turned into a long, drawn-out process as they tried to stabilize me. (It was horrible at the time, but I can laugh about it now. Everytime the blood pressure cuff would inflate, my body would go into spasms. Of course they couldn't take off the cuff, because they needed the vitals, but I felt like Pavlov's dog.) The nurses were fine at my bedside, but when they weren't they spent the time grousing that the recovery was taking so long and one was complaining that her shift had ended, and everytime somebody new walked in, she'd be like, what's going on in here... what's the delay?) HELLO PEOPLE, I can hear you! So not only was I scared out of my mind (I couldn't feel anything below my neck), I was also feeling guilty because I was causing these nurses an inconvenience. And of course I didn't want to say anything that would change their irritation into anger, so I kept quiet. That's not how a patient should feel! 

PredictableChaos
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Data Doctor
Re: Good Quote
PredictableChaos   5/22/2014 12:37:53 AM
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Your example is poignant because it is so counter to the detached professionalism that is common in hospitals.

I've been in hospitals as much as any healthy person who doesn't work there and I can only think of one interaction like yours: it was late in the day and my procedure was taking longer than expected. The doctor had happily mentioned earlier that he had tickets to the hockey game, but the happiness disappeared as he found he hadn't scheduled enough time for me.

He didn't mention hockey again, but he did became frustrated and even, I would say, angry as it became clear to both of us that he would be, at best, late to his cherished game. I wanted to say several things - Hey, do you think I want to be here?  Who planned this thing anyway, me or you? Can you - ouch - be a little more gentle right there? But my better judgment was not to perturb the scary man with the sharp instruments.

CandidoNick
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Prospector
Re: Good Quote
CandidoNick   5/21/2014 7:56:08 PM
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Quite the story. You're even considering the potentially rough day she was having. Before she stormed off, do you think she even considered what a horrific day you been having? This was your child, and naturally, you'd be curious.

 

While I can understand it, I'm upset by her reaction.

BethSchultz
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Re: Good Quote
BethSchultz   5/21/2014 8:31:19 AM
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I can relate, somewhat. One of my worst nightmares as a newish mother was when my first daughter, then about 6 months old, had a febrile convulsion. We rushed her to the ER, and they proceeded to run a battery of tests. We were there for a couple of hours, and it seemed fairly clear that this convulsion was an anomaly, caused by a fever spike, but still we had to wait on one more blood draw and then the doctor's OK to leave. When the nurse came in to take the baby's blood, I asked in a very calm manner (as I said, all the initial anxiety had subsided) what she was taking the blood for. You see, I'd just read a parenting article encouraging moms and dads to be curious and ask questions of doctors and nurses, etc., about procedures and tests. Well, this nurse went ballastic. She threw down the blood kit and stomped out of the room, saying something along the lines of, "I don't have to deal with this. Does she think I'm doing this for fun?" My husband and I were dumbfounded, not to mention appalled. The behavior was so out of whack with the situation. Maybe the nurse was at the tail end of a double shift, maybe it'd been a really grueling morning in the ER, maybe she was having personal problems.... but whatever the case, she clearly didn't want any parental questioning. We should have just sat there, meekly. I'm happy that happened, though, because clearly she was in a pissy mood and she might have taken that out on my daughter, with an extra hard jab of the needle, rather than on me.

CandidoNick
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Prospector
Re: Good Quote
CandidoNick   5/20/2014 9:24:19 PM
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I could easily see him being set aside. Since he was so closely tied, they were so ready to discard his opinion, even a professional one. The number of things that could rise from better communication...

BethSchultz
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Re: Good Quote
BethSchultz   5/20/2014 7:01:27 AM
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Mostashari made an similarly interesting point, as well. And that was that doctors and nurses have the tendency to disregard a hospitalized patient's families. They'd rather not deal with them, when in fact they can be quite invaluable in providing insight on patient behavior and help keep the patient from re-admitting. He used his own personal example of dealing with his mother's doctor/nursing staff, all of whom largely ignored him and shooed him away even though he himself is a doctor and so has sound medical knowledge to draw on. He said he often wonders has he been allowed to be more involved would his mother have required a follow-on procedure.

CandidoNick
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Prospector
Re: the trend
CandidoNick   5/20/2014 12:16:18 AM
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The idea of transparent pricing at the hospital is giving me bad images of a man walking up to a receptionist, and deciding between Kidney Transplant and Knee Surgery to order off of a menu with prices.

CandidoNick
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Prospector
Good Quote
CandidoNick   5/20/2014 12:13:43 AM
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"Kaiser Permanente feels it must be able to collect more from and have ready access to data providing the patient's own perspective -- meaning, patient-reported outcomes."

I feel like this a conversation the people are rarely a part of. I can dig this perspective.

tomsg
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Prospector
Re: the trend
tomsg   5/19/2014 8:17:29 PM
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I think there is more to it than just price competition. In general, we have too many hospitals and as insurance reform takes hold, the insurance companies will force better outcomes to be rewarded. This will require better interfaces with patients.

kq4ym
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Data Doctor
Re: the trend
kq4ym   5/19/2014 5:01:27 PM
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I wonder if health care providers have such a captive audience that they aren't going to pay much attention to patients' voices. Unlike retailers having to stay competitive to attract new customers, hospitals, so far don't advertise prices and readily list their most effective services. I suspect when pricing becomes more transparent, health care will listen more to their patients.

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