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Ron Perkins <[log in to unmask]>
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Ron Perkins <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 14 Jan 2010 09:33:14 -0500
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Tim, great article in the New Yorker....

I have two stories that I won't go into details on regarding how my wife was stuck in the hospital after an operation for 9 days...the post op was much worse than the condition she went in for--each day getting worse simply because there was no coordination among the nursing staff regarding pain medication and food intake.  Simple stuff...she suffered needlessly.

My father in law recently died with a heart condition moving from ICU in one hospital to Cardiac Care in another state, to Hospice Care in 12 days.  It happened was over the holidays and there was lots of staff confusion, misinformed people without a clear set of recommendations as to where he would be 'better off'.   One worker simply didn't contact one of the hospice facilities on the list--when we got the list and contacted them ourselves, we found out that there was in fact a bed available at that location.  The bottom line was he probably should have been in hospice care after initial diagnosis and first attempts at surgery after only about 5 days.  The details were missed.

It seems to me, as a person outside the health care system, that simply more coordination, communication among staff and a better reward system aimed at patient focus would make all the difference.  It doesn't seem like the processes have been designed with anything like that in mind, but have simply evolved over time and are dealt with ad hoc.  Maybe I'm naive about the complexity of health care situations.  I've seen this sort of thing in computer system design for decades, but health care should be more important.


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Ron Perkins
Principal, Design Perspectives
Web Design and Usability	

978-465-6083	Office

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