(Snippets from the frontline)
Doctors know when a patient breaks a hip, surgical intervention is quickly needed to control pain and avoid complications like anemia, fat emboli, deep vein thrombosis, or pressure ulcerations.
Recently, my octogenarian patient fell and fractured a hip with paramedics bringing her to the hospital on a Friday night. Since the case was considered an elective procedure and not an emergency, operating room personnel wasn’t available, and unfortunately the OR schedule for Saturday was full.
Sundays, the hospital administration had decided in the past they would not pay overtime to staff operating rooms.
Despite the surgeon being ready to follow evidence-based guideline and quickly use technical skills to fix the broken hip, the hospital administration made a decision based on the bottom line, and not out of the best interest of the patient.
Think about other scenarios where this type of decision-making might put you at risk when hospitalized.
Clinical care and judgement by doctors have been financially superseded by hospital administrators to the detriment of patient care.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.