It appears I will be going home today, I think. Modern, American medicine is something that I am still struggling to understand. I have had a doctor called a “hospitalist.” To my knowledge, this doctor is supposed to coordinate the treatment being carried out by a team of doctors. In my case, I have an infectious disease doctor and a podiatrist. To me the lines of communication between all three doctors should be open and collaborative. However, my observations have shown me otherwise.
The entire time I have been hospitalized, podiatry has just walked in whenever they feel like it and does what it needs to do. Infectious disease has been the same way. The hospitalist, on the other hand, doesn’t really seem to know what is happening with either department. I seem to be the middle man between them all. This is apparent when each asks me what the other has said. Isn’t this what a hospitalist is being paid to do? If so, I’d like my first paycheck by next Friday.
This is frustrating when all you want to do is go home. For instance, the hospitalist was in today and said he needed to check on whether antibiotics would be administed at home or if I would need to come in to the hospital each day to have this done. This is infuriating, seeing as how the hospital social worker told me yesterday that home nursing would be by tomorrow to administer my first home dose and then teach Amanda and I how to run it from there.
This all leads me to believe the hospitalist has read none of the notes in my chart, as there is an order in for me to be discharged. Plus, I am positive there is information about the establishment of home nursing care. Fortunately, I have a feisty nurse today that knows what she is doing and has read the notes in my chart. I still can’t figure out why a doctor who is supposed to be coordinating my care has not. Maybe, he just has chosen not to take the time.
I expect a standard of care when I am being treated for an illness. My nursing staff has been exceptional. The doctors on the other hand all have seemed to have checked out on me, which doesn’t instill a lot of confidence. I wish I could say this is my only experience like this, but it isn’t. If a generalist is going to be on staff then they need to have a firmer grasp on the information being provided to the patient. The patient should never have to play a game of “he said, she said” with the doctors. To me that is unacceptable.
It is nearly 1:00 p.m. and I am still waiting to go home, despite the fact that my daily dose of antibiotics have been administered. I’m not ordering any lunch, as I refuse to eat another meal here. I understand the discharge process can take a while. I am trying to be patient. However, as I have noted in past blog posts I am not the most patient of patients. However, am I really the patient anymore when I am being asked to provide the services of a “go-between” with my doctors?