The view looks bad from both sides

The following story was submitted by a doctor who found himself in a caregiving role for his parents.

I've been on vacation to visit my parents (both 86).

Got a call from mom on the way that my dad got admitted for a GI (gastrointestinal, or somewhere between your mouth and your intestines) bleed. Met him at the hospital. The facility is large, elegant, and spotless. Employees all well dressed and polite. All the paperwork is legible and voluminous:  but it isn't helpful at all.

Later that night, my mom came by ambulance to the same large hospital with an ACS (acute coronary syndrome, otherwise known as a heart issue). She hasn't been a patient since her last child was born. Both are fine now and home.  

Both discharged after very slow care, rarely saw a doctor, and waiting 4 hours for a "discharge order". My dad almost signed out AMA because they wouldn't let him leave the floor to visit my mom...in the same hospital.

Both had more than 4 significant medication errors with no medication reconciliation. (This is when a clinician reviews and confirms all your medications to make sure they know what you are on and can look for possible problems or likely problems.) We did hours of "dining room table medication reconciliation" yesterday. No one shared tests results until we asked.

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We followed up with my dad's PCP (a very nice guy in a run down, rural, private office.  There, we found "kind care". Here is the posted "opioid policy":  shorter and much more sensible than in our practice, I think....and more clear. One could argue it is not "kind care" but at least it is clear.

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Nothing is more helpful in seeing how broken our system is than being a patient or being with a patient.

Reading the book "Why We Revolt", by Victor Montori, made me realize I could add a couple chapters. Medical care is in very sad repair.