Archive for Healthcare Quality

In Search of Patient Advocates

In my past life, I was a marketing web developer. As such I learned how to analyze search engines and statistics to see what terms people are using to find my websites.

Review of my two main websites tells me that many of you are looking for information about patient advocates or patient advocacy. I don’t have a lot of that information online — but am ready to put some on my sites — sooooo — can you help me?

If you are a patient advocate — or — if you are in search of a patient advocate — or — if you want information about choosing a patient advocate — please send me an email! I will add information to my websites according to feedback.

Thanks! I look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in: Healthcare Quality, Patient Advocacy

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Doctors and Ambiguity

One of the great frustrations of my mother-in-law’s trial in the hospital is dealing with her surgeon, AKA “the artful dodger.”

In this case, my husband wants to get his arms around what happens after my M-in-L has her chemo treatments. How long will she be in the hospital? What are the options for nursing home care? Dr. B (as I’ll refer to him) won’t give a straight answer. He sidesteps, and even contradicts himself. One minute he says she’ll need to remain in the hospital and the next minute he talks about the social worker making arrangements.

This is after we have already ridden the rollercoaster of her possible MRSA infection (see more at — search for MRSA). Was it MRSA? or no? Dr. B says NO — but mostly we can see that he’s simply trying to cover his own tail. The nurses say yes — and insist she be put in isolation.

I think a lot of doctors learn to be ambiguous. They learn that patients are dazzled by their big words and concepts, and patients are afraid to keep asking questions. Certainly Dr. B was intimidated when I wanted to record our conversations. I won’t let him be ambiguous. I even asked my husband to stand between Dr. B and the doorway so he couldn’t leave until we got clear answers.

Sharp patients won’t let their doctors be ambiguous! Insist on clarity!

Posted in: Doctor Communication, Healthcare Quality, Patient Advocacy

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