Clinical Hot Topics: The Physician as a Patient

Posted on Wed, Oct 22, 2014
Clinical Hot Topics: The Physician as a Patient

Hosted by Al Sacchetti, MD, FACEP as moderator, Don’t Blink or You Will Miss It - Clinical Hot Topics can feel much like the “speed dating” of training presentations. The 12 hyper-paced presentations covered a wealth of information for the 2014 EmCare Leadership Conference attendees.  Each week, we’ll publish highlights from select clinical hot topics presented at the conference.

The Physician as a Patient
By Dr. Adenyl Koiki

Nothing can give one a new perspective like a real-life experience. Dr. Adenyl Koiki takes the audience on a journey through his day as he is transformed from physician to patient in a matter of hours. His day began as most days, the usual 7:15 a.m. hand-offs, charts and rounding. A little breakfast at 8 a.m., and then suddenly, it hits: Dr. Koiki is struck with a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). By 9:30 a.m., he is in a hospital bed, intubated and in serious condition. What happens next is where the story becomes so unbelievable.

The hospital contacts the family. As his wife, a nurse, and daughter, a med student, are racing to the hospital the caller indicates they better hurry as they are “not sure he is going to make it.” Isn’t it written (somewhere) that “Thou shalt not panic a patient’s family while they are driving?”

So his family arrives frightened and frantic, but they are not allowed to see him in ICU. The nurse promises to make sure to get them as soon as they are allowed to go back. As they wait in the ICU waiting room, the minutes feel like hours. His wife goes back to the nurse to, again, try and find out when they can see him. The nurse’s reply “Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot!” Seriously?

And the patient himself was enduring his own battle with the care team. He knew the doctor had ordered IV-Med, but the nurse was insisting he was to get IM-Med? Again, seriously? Do you know what your staff members are doing on your behalf?

With this new perspective of the patient care experience from the point of view of the patient, Dr. Koiki saw first-hand how patient satisfaction is a key ingredient in risk management. While it’s not recommended that physicians attempt to get the patient experience first-hand, all would be advised to consider how he or she would want to be treated and have family treated if found in the position of the patient and treat every patient accordingly.

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