Sunday, April 13, 2014

Patient Grades

When I strolled into the surgeons lounge I saw one of our best surgeons sitting there with her head in her hands.  I sat down and asked if she needed to talk to someone.  Usually when I see a surgeon like that she just had to give someone bad news or no matter what she did he could save the patient and they were going to die.  Its a lonely place and sometimes it helps to be able to talk to a colleague to get it all out.

I wasn't prepared for what she had to say.  A few months before she had saved a patient from certain death, a bad mesenteric ischemia with perforated bowel.  The patient had a rough course but pulled through.  The patient was an IV drug abuser and the bowel infarction was a septic emboli.  Because the surgeon would not give the patient all the narcotics he wanted and instead set him up in a treatment program, the patient went on HealthGrades and slandered the surgeon up and down.  This is now the first thing you see when you google her name.  I did my best to console her but all I could think of is "We need a PatientGrades where we can list all the drug seekers, psychopaths and Munchhausen's patients!"

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Lordy Lordy, we just hit 40!

Just finished a week on call where I cover several emergency departments.  On average there will be about 60 consults for "emergencies".  In the past one third would be uninsured.  This week it was 2/3rds.  Worse 7 had insurance but had to drop it because it became too expensive. 

I guess I'm confused, I thought Obamacare was going to cover the uninsured and make it affordable.