Happy Monday! A good way to start the week is with a smile.
Total patient health care.
When I worked in the hospital many moons ago, one of my duties was to attend the daily discharge rounds on the floors that I covered as a chaplain. These daily gatherings were attended by nurses from the floor, as well as respiratory therapists, dietary specialists, social workers, and representatives from other services that had dealings with the patients.
Going through each chart, we discussed all aspects of the patient’s care, from procedures, status of recovery, medications, meals, family support, and what had to be accomplished in order for the patient to go home, or to rehab.
A patient’s emotional and spiritual well being is so integral to recovery, which is why medical staff appreciated the insight that a chaplain could share, while being careful not to betray any confidence. If trust is broken, the whole chaplain/patient relationship suffers.
Having those kinds of discussions with numerous staff members were most helpful in the overall treatment of a patient, especially older patients who had several medical problems that were being handled while they were in the hospital.
If only there was some way to have that same kind of communications between care-givers outside the hospital setting.
As one of those older people with multiple health problems, I see a myriad of doctors because specialties are so narrow now. In orthopedics alone there’s one doc for shoulder, one doc for hips, and one doctor for back. If any joints need replacement, another doctor does that.
Some of those doctors won’t even talk about another part of the skeletal system, even to answer whether pain could be caused from an issue in another area. Plus, there’s no indication that the doctors talk to each other.
Wouldn’t it be great if doctors and other medical staff shared information about the total patient – not just a body part?
Some doctors do communicate well with the patient about appointments and test results via a patient portal, and that bit of technology is so helpful. But do doctors in the same health system use the portal to communicate with each other regarding the patients they’re seeing?
I suspect the answer is, “no.” At least I have not seen any indication that the six doctors I see in one health system are sharing with each other. If you’ve had a different experience with multiple doctors taking care of your medical needs, I’d love to know about it.
The purpose of writing about this issue is to encourage those in the medical profession to consider using the technology that’s available to talk to each other about current medical issues their patients are experiencing. Sometimes one problem affects another, and treating problem A would help problem B.
Just a thought.
By the way, if you’d like to know more about my experiences as a chaplain, it’s all chronicled in my #memoir, The Many Faces of Grief: Stories of Love, Loss and Hope. It’s not all sad. I promise.
Before turning the blog space over to some humor from Slim Randles, I want to mention that the Booksweeps contest is still going on until June 7. Lots of free books to be won, along with a new eReader. It’s easy to enter by just following authors and no other sign-ups involved.
By entering, you have a chance to win a copy of Brutal Season, the fourth installment in the Seasons Mystery Series, as well as books from some of my favorite authors who write crime fiction, like Stephen Puleston, E.J. Simon, and N.L Hinkens.
Ends June 7. Good luck!
Now here’s a fun story from Slim. Enjoy…
There was Steve, our resident cowboy, sitting at the round table in the Mule Barn truck stop, doodling on paper. Other members of the world dilemma think tank gravitated to Steve’s table.
Steve appeared to be oblivious of the rest of us. “Downspout,” he mumbled.
Doc nodded at Herb. “Downspout, Herb.”
“I thought so, too,” Herb said.
“Oh hi guys,” said Steve.
“So Steve … downspout?”
“Hot tub,” Steve said, as if that cleared everything up. “For the cabin. You know. I’m going to put in a hot tub.”
“And you need a downspout for this?” Herb said.
“For the rain,” Steve said.
We looked at him.
“No water,” Steve said. “You know, at the cabin.”
“Let’s see if I have this right,” Dud said. “You want to put a hot tub in at your cabin and you don’t have water.”
“So you need a downspout…?”
“For when it rains,” Steve said. “To fill the hot tub.”
“Okay. So how will you get it hot?”
“Going to wrap copper tubing around the stovepipe in the cabin, you see, and then send it on out to the hot tub. The tub will be outside on the porch.”
“You don’t have a porch.”
“But I will by the time I get the hot tub built,” Steve explained. “I’ll bet that copper tubing will heat that water right up and then I can have a good soak up there any time I want.”
“Not quite,” said Doc. “Not the way I figure it.”
Steve looked at him. “Why not?”
“If the water comes down the downspout, around the stovepipe through the copper tubing and then outside to the hot tub, it looks to me like the only time you can soak in the tub is in a rainstorm.”
Steve thought about that for a minute. Then sipped his cold coffee. Loretta heated it up.
“And Steve,” said Doc, “you ever been on that mountain when the lightning’s popping? If you’re in that hot tub, with your moustache flopping around in the wind while you watch the surrounding countryside explode, well …”
Steve wiped out what he was drawing with the pencil and started in on a fresh napkin.
He looked up after a few minutes. “Pool table,” he said.
It’s a good thing dreams are free.
Mother-in-law planning a visit? Here’s some help. Try bagpipelessonsonline.com
That’s all from me today, folks. I hope your week starts off well and continues that way. Be safe. Be happy.