You may be wondering what happened with Ken, whom I wrote about in my last post.
Well, he stayed in the hospital for 4 days. At the end of his first day, a palliative care consultant called me and left me a voicemail with recommendations related to pain and constipation. He left me a cell phone number. He didn’t answer when I called him back, so I left a brief message and thanked him for the update.
But no hospitalist ever called me and no updates were faxed to me. On the fourth day (a Monday), I called the floor and again asked to speak to his doctor. His nurse came to the phone, explained to me the discharge plans, and then asked if there was anything else I needed.
Well, yes. I need to know what happened to him medically, not just what facility they were planning to discharge him to. Why did they keep him for so many days? Ken himself had left me messages saying the doctors were doing a lot of tests but not telling him the results. (Patient-centered hospital care, where art thou?)
The nurse was unable to answer these questions. I said that I wanted results of the tests faxed to me, and that I’d also like to talk to his doctor.
Several hours later, a doctor finally called me. He sounded young and harried. “So, what do you need to know?” he asked me. [Read more…]