Hospital discharge planning hinges on good communication

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  • Margaret deMello says:

    Great theoretical article. I think a major research project is in order to document patient experiences. Then we’d know better what needs to be done.

    In terms of good communication, I have to laugh.

    Had surgery lately, was asked to sign some kind of consent form, just after given surgical anesthetic! I was literally nodding off and couldn’t even read it. Was asked triage questions that I’d seen a pre op doctor for, who was supposed to send the surgical unit her report. Did they have it? No.
    I didn’t see the surgeon just before the surgery or after. Her office booked me a surgical follow up appointment, and since my symptoms remained I was eager to discuss. But oops, when I dragged myself to her office, I found she was on vacation that day, down south, lucky thing. I didn’t bother to rebook.
    My new GP, who is a teaching doctor, never requested any of my files from other doc offices, he told me to call and round up all that. He never sent records to specialists – when he finally referred me. But when I asked for records from his office, he billed me 30 dollars…I should have billed him.
    Don’t make patients responsible for good communication with docs and offices that are overall hopeless and careless in this regard. Good communication is a professional responsibility, primarily yours.
    Margaret deMello MSW

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