Today’s mail brought the survey promised after my recent hospital stay.
Like everything else in the USA, the questions are multiple choice. That won’t do it for me!
Surveys arrive here on a daily basis and in my opinion, they are not worth the paper they are printed on.
Except to the survey company, of course.
Yes, I am a terrible cynic, but seriously, this hospital survey seems pointless.
My experience was DIRE, but I doubt very much it would have been different in any other facility.
It would be grossly unfair to blame doctors and nurses for my anguish that was not their fault and which they did their best to relieve under very stretched and stressed circumstances.
Question: “Waiting time for tests or treatment”. You had to select from: very poor, poor, fair, good very good. Compared to what? I want to know.
Is it reasonable to wait 90 minutes to see a doctor, then 2 more hours for a scan, when you are in agony?
In this infamous day and age, I daresay it is.
How well did the staff respond to your emotional needs?
In truth I believe they were quite concerned, but there was bugger all they could do about it.
How’s that for an answer?
All they could do, in the end, was release me a day early when I pointed out that to stay would be counter-productive.
“Likelihood of your recommending this hospital to others?”
In the comments section I wrote that I would recommend death over any hospital stay.
This, I know, sounds extreme, but it reached a point during my stay, when I had a serious meltdown. I fully realized that there were many ways that things could have been worse, but this did not help me just then.
Which is why I want to write about it all.
It’s taken me a long time to get here, because I didn’t know where to begin.
But here’s how it could have been worse, in ways that occur to me, in no particular order: (I know there are more)
If I didn’t speak English/If I had memory issues/If I had communications issues/if I suffered from Asperger’s or Autism/If I had dependents/No-one to look after my pets….
Because, as far as I could see, there would be no special assistance immediately available for anyone like this, given that it was an emergency (or even if it wasn’t).
And imagine the difficulty and extra work for the staff having to deal with those additional complications.
Covid-19 has obviously had a tremendous impact on the medical world, here and everywhere and I am not overlooking this. But I have been experiencing hospitals one way and another for 50 years. Not everything is blamable on the virus….
Let’s start with the obvious, Admission.
What happens, if you’ve been run over and are lying, unconscious, I have no idea. Presumably, someone takes responsibility.
But if you are awake and can make a mark, you have to sign things. If your gut is in spasm, you will sign anything that will hasten an end to the pain.
Besides, what choice do you have? You are hardly going to say, “no” and walk out of there. Where would you go instead? And how?
So you agree to be accountable for the cost. Now:
It may all look just fine, “covered” by those extra insurance payments you make each month. (I acknowledge that I am lucky to be able to afford them).
Here’s the thing: In theory you are covered by insurance and you get fast-tracked (or not so fast, as the case may be) to surgery. But it’s entirely possible that the anesthesiologist or the surgeon, or any of the other individuals participating in the slicing up of your guts, may in fact not themselves be “in network”.
If that’s the case, you will be getting a bill for an obscene amount of money.
Something else can happen too:
Although you are technically, geographically “in” the hospital and may have surgery and remain there overnight, this does not meant you’ve been “admitted”.
This makes a big difference if you are on Medicare.
Medicare will not cover your hospitalization unless you are admitted and spend 3 nights.
It scares me, how very nearly I shot myself in the foot.
On day two of my little experience, I announced my intention to leave, forthwith. The only reason I did not go through with it was because the very nice doctor who I addressed this to warned me that if I left and developed post-surgical problems, that I could end up back in the emergency room “on a gurney, in a corridor, for the foreseeable future”, such was the need for beds that weekend.
Her concern was quite genuine.
She didn’t mention the 3-night Medicare rule but I suspect she was not aware of it. Besides, it was not her responsibility.
It was mine. I ought to read the Medicare book cover-to-cover annually. I may as well attempt ancient Greek.
Perhaps double-Dutch would be more appropriate as it’s all double-talk. The common lingua-franca of politics, which I also don’t understand. A loophole for all occasions.