Health care. Say those two words to any American and you’re likely to hear a horrifying story. It will be a story of care gone wrong or of care being absent or care givers not caring. It will be a story that will make your blood boil.
We cannot fix improve our health care system by complaining about it in terms of a system. Each instance of a problem, no matter how minor, is a demonstration of a process, a person, a policy, a methodology, a passively accepted culture that needs to change.
In a series of short blog posts I will write about some of the problems we encountered that, if changed would have an immediate positive impact on patient care.
I have a few wonderful stories of doctors, nurses, social workers and others who have put in their all and really demonstrated their passion for their work as they tended to my mother’s care. However, most of the experiences in this journey involve a disheartening lack care, inaccessible services and even demonstrations of a complete lack of knowledge from doctors.
One particular problem has been consistent over the last six months since Mom broke her hip. There is a lack of quality care on the weekends.
Each facility Mom has utilized – hospital, rehab and nursing homes – have lacked weekend staff. One would reasonably expect that the administrative staff work Monday through Friday. The patients don’t leave on the weekends yet the ratio of direct care staff to patients is much lower and supervision is minimal.
How many times does a patient have to say, “I push the button and no one comes” before someone takes notice?