Musings in the life of an internist, cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist.
Thursday, August 01, 2013
Images of Change: Going Private
The Loss of Roommates, courtesy D. Graf
"I spent several days, in 2012, as a patient at two different hospitals in my pre-ablation period. I had roommates at both locations and each of them was named George. The rooms I was in are no longer shared bed facilities, they are now private. This is a profound change in health care. I learned much from both Georges and was able to listen in as their doctors and nurses filled them in about their conditions. I overheard specific information about their prescription drugs, their recommended diets and their health summary. (George I and II were able to see and hear my health are
team, too). I also saw their relatives and friends come and go and felt able to ascertain which ones were there to encourage their loved one and which ones were going through the visitation motions. I heard some visitors talk about wanting to be granted Power of Attorney privileges and others asking about location of car and house keys. I also saw true friendship and empathy from some of the visitors. During the quiet times, mainly in the late nights after visitation, we would talk, compare notes about our healthcare providers, review the quality of hospital food, ask about each others work and hobby interests and generally bond. I haven't kept in contact with either George since we were hospital roommates, but it felt good to be together in a shared experience. The end of shared
hospital rooms is, from a patient perspective, a major change in health care policy."