An update 9/25 on the healthcare blog I wrote: This morning I got a call from my mother's medical doctor's office. A person on her staff called and left a message on behalf of the doctor that they were sorry to hear about Mother's death, that they could understand why I neglected to cancel my scheduled appointment with the doctor and they wish the form letter had not been sent. Oh, my word. I guess since this is all second hand, the caller did not know that I had written the doctor last Friday, seven days ago, responding to her form letter scolding me for not keeping the appointment that I had indeed canceled the appointment and that I was writing because I thought she might like to know that she wasn't getting all her messages.
Coincidentally, my naturapath and I talked on the phone person to person; she wanted to check how the homeopathic meds were helping me. AND I received a sympathy card with a long heartfelt message from my Indian doctor's sister and her children. All in one day.
You know, I think this "professional distance" rule doesn't really makes for good care in health, necessarily. It certainly doesn't improve communication. FAX's, answering services, receptionists just don't improve doctor to patient, one on one communication. It seems there is a communication breakdown both inside and outside the medical organization of my mother's doctor's clinic. It sticks at me because my mother's declining health began when a urinary tract infection was not treated for ten days because the doctor's FAX machine did not deliver the UTI result and prescription to Southtowne, and when the same doctor saw my sister and mother in the clinic on the day she read the lab results she did not say, "by the way, your mother has a bladder infection" in her rush in and out of the room. My sister kicks herself that she did not know because if she had she would had followed up on Southtowne and the medication.
Our family knows for a fact that good communication (the best being doctor to patient and probably longer than 10 - 15 minutes), careful details, follow up is crucial to healthcare. Without it . . . . .well, it will always, always hurt.
And this is the last I will talk about this issue. I need to let it go.
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