Tuesday, December 31, 2013

LUMPECTOMY- THE SEQUEL . . . How was your visit? Lousy?

In the entry to the Cancer Center is a poster or two, illustrated to resemble an oversize Patient Satisfaction questionnaire. I've already had several since the diagnosis.

If you're like me, often the questions don't touch the way you feel. Like the fear when one of your meds has disappeared from the electronic meds integration system that relief people can't operate.  I don't recall a question about the atmosphere or the lack of windows.   Or the equipment. Or the room arrangement that keeps me from seeing a seated visitor.  Or you name it.

And from what I read on line, administrations may use my answers to give lower evaluations to  caregivers and staff. So, when I get a questionnaire that demands I fill in every circle next to irrelevant questions, I know a machine will be reading it!  And someone will get the blame, maybe someone who had nothing to do with the problem.

A machine can't read the comments section, so does it go unread on that type questionnaire? I can write to the administration or even the board, or a website and ask for this type to be discontinued.   If I suspect the machine, I can staple on a paper with my comments.

And also, I can call the patient advocate, if that institution has one.  And I can tell my story on a website that takes comments from patients.

I can think about what caused something, like yelling in the corridor !  Is it just that they are understaffed and each one is far from the person who is asking a questions?  My answer can mention that in a popularly  priced, busy restaurant in CA, a manager with an earpiece solves problems by phoning someone or by taking action himself.  Just like the Secret Service.  Voila!  NO yelling.  I can mention that to a patient advocate or a hospital administrator.

I can start TODAY on that questionnaire I can't bear to fill out because most of my memories of that post-surgery rehab are not good.

But what I always must do is mention any caregiver who is kind, cheerful, and way above average - like the patient aide who brought me some floss threaders from home so I could clean my dental bridge!  Or is there a rule against giving a patient floss?

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