In an article, “Patient satisfaction: Hospitals are not like car dealerships” (March 22, 2014) David Mokotoff
DAVID MOKOTOFF, MD | PHYSICIAN | MARCH 22, 2014
The article is here.
Mokotoff writes, “Here’s what I would like to ask the patients:
Did the condition for which you entered the hospital improve or go away?
Was the hospital bill clear and accurate and easy to understand?
Did a doctor explain procedures to you fully and in enough detail?
Was the food hot and edible?
Here’s how I commented:
Up to a point you are right. However, I am a super-healthy person who avoids doctors and declines tests. Recently I had cataract surgery as an outpatient in a top hospital. The surgery went well. My surgeon and anesthesiologist were superb once we got to the OR. To them, my case was boring because I’m so healthy.
For me, the whole experience was so stressful I developed physical symptoms. I was horrified by what I experienced: incorrect data entered in my records, repeated queries about irrelevant personal information; failure to note allergies on my chart till we got to the moment of entering the OR; required pre-op tests that are dismissed as useless in research published in leading medical journals (along with a scary high probability of false positives); inflexible requirements for finding a ride home when operations are scheduled at the last minute (hello – friends and even some relatives can’t get off from work); pre-op and post-op instructions presented in a disorganized, incomprehensible fashion (I have a Ph.D. and professional writing experience); stressful noisy waiting rooms with blaring TVs; rude nurses and technicians; and a lot more.
You may think it’s no big deal, but my relationship with the medical profession is more hostile than ever and it was pretty bad before. I was so traumatized that I’m refusing all future tests for cancer, heart disease or other illnesses. There’s no way I could handle the stresses of a major episode. I’m putting an advance directive in place and becoming an advocate for assisted dying, which I think should be made even easier.
After all, spy pilots used to get cyanide pills to avoid getting shot down in POW camps. Modern hospitals aren’t much different. You underestimate the impact of stress on otherwise healthy people.