After last week’s column regarding billing procedures within the health care industry, we have been asked if we have an opinion regarding the quality of health care regardless of its cost. And while we cannot speak to the overall quality of health care in the country, we can answer the question when it comes to our own experience, most particularly our inpatient experience, with the quality of the health care system locally.
To say that we found the care we received as an inpatient following hip surgery was satisfactory would be a stretch, a very big stretch. In fact, it is most difficult to justify as acceptable medicine the fact that we were not given a morphine pump for pain control following surgery or that we received discharge directives that told us to resume medication which, we later discovered, were not appropriate given we were put on Coumadin to avoid blood clots.
Beyond that we are still mystified at having been left lying on our left side for 14 hours the first night following our surgery in spite of asking at least twice to be moved, something that evidently could not be done as we were told it was too painful for us to be moved. We also, while on our side, were appalled to realize we were forced to eat our scrambled eggs with our fingers as we could not manage to reach them to eat them with a fork. And then, of course, there is the question of whether they were worth eating in the first place. For the most part we found the food to be inedible, with the possible exception of the Caesar salad with grilled chicken.
However, we really think that what bothered us the most was the fact that during our stay, we, unfortunately, wet the bed three times as we did not receive the necessary help to get to the bathroom before we had an accident. And, although this may be difficult to believe, we did not enjoy one bit lying in a pool of our own urine. In fact, the third time it happened we called the administrator in charge to complain about the care since our PCA (personal care assistant), formerly known, we think, as a nurses’ aide, explained, after apologizing profusely for her tardiness, that she was taking care of 22 patients that day.