I’ve previously ranted about the medical information problems in connection with my father’s care at Friendship Village of Dublin and Riverside Methodist Hospital (among others). Well, they’re getting worse.
The medical background is:
- During his first admission to Riverside Methodist Hospital over the past five weeks, my father had internal bleeding (not the issue he was admitted for). A battery of tests could not find a cause; it stopped on its own; and he was discharged shortly thereafter in line with his main health issue.
- A few days thereafter, he had near-fatal internal bleeding, and was rushed back to Riverside Methodist Hospital accordingly, with people obviously expecting him not to survive. I tracked down his personal gastroenterologist, who identified and stopped the bleeding based on a test he and I agreed would make sense. (I happen to know all too much about gastroenterology. And yes, I think that intercession by me probably saved my father’s life.) Subsequently, a second procedure to protect against a recurrence was considered and rejected. He was discharged shortly thereafter.
- A few days later he was admitted to Riverside Methodist Hospital a third time with serious internal bleeding. Presumably, the previous decision not to do the second procedure had backfired.
When Riverside Methodist Hospital got around to talking with me Saturday morning:
- I ascertained that Riverside Methodist Hospital had errors in its records pertaining to this bleeding problem on his prior admissions.
- I could not ascertain exactly what Riverside Methodist Hospital had done to stop the bleeding.
- I was told Riverside Methodist Hospital planned to discharge him soon.
More information would have to come from a doctor, who would call that afternoon.
I detected no such call. 8:45 Sunday morning, I was told such a call had been placed, but no message had been left due to HIPAA, and a call would come later on Sunday. I finally called back after 4 pm, only to be told that all the doctors were busy, and there was no point in my talking with a doctor anyway since s/he wouldn’t know anything; I should wait until Monday. A subsequent escalation uncovered that the doctor simply “forgot” to call me, while I waited all day missing food and sleep.
By the way, Riverside Methodist Hospital had a similar error in my father’s medical records pertaining to a different body part. His nurse told me he had a wound in his hand that she judged to be based on a deep cut whose origin she did not know. Well, right before his first discharge from Riverside Methodist Hospital they themselves did a procedure on his hand, giving me an awfully good guess as to what the origin might be.
Admittedly, I have no reason to think that Riverside Methodist Hospital is worse than any other hospital in these respects. (And indeed when I complain long enough somebody eventually has a helpful conversation with me — for example, while drafting this post I got a call explaining what the unknown procedure was.) But the whole thing is pretty pathetic — and yet pretty inevitable given the cumbersome medical information procedures we now have in place. And so, this mess again illustrates that great changes are needed in how medical information is managed.
- Yet more examples of the Friendship Village/Riverside Methodist Hospital medical records mess.
- Medical information procedures are terrible for research as well.