Sep 29, 2006

Giving feedback on my hospital experience

I decided to take a copy of my post, "Wake me when it's over...," including the comments from you lean healthcare folks, to the surgeon when I had my followup visit. I'm a lot bolder when writing about stuff than when talking to someone, but it seemed the right thing to do.

As it happened, I waited 90 minutes after my appointment time before I saw him. (The surgeon's office is associated with the hospital system and in the same building.) I read a whole issue of "People" magazine, while some talk show blathered about something distressing that happened to someone. The 90 minutes included time in the examining room, where the stack of magazines suggested that even here, patients needed something to alleviate the boredom.

I didn't bring up the discussion until after he'd checked my incision and drained some fluid that had accumulated. He did a nice job on the suturing, and I told him that before I brought up the anesthesia issue. (And the 90-minute wait.) He said something about anesthesiologists sometimes seeing different risk factors than the surgeon when they see the patient - yeah, yeah. I tried to be really clear that I recognized that it was the system, not him or any of the hospital personnel.

He told me he'd spent two hours that morning in a meeting about improving things. I didn't ask any more about that, just told him he could keep the copy of the blog post as a souvenir, and hoped he wasn't too irritated with me. Maybe he'll take it to the next two hour meeting.

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