Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Symptom of the problem

Beast is out of town this week. That's not a big deal for me. Not really.

Between dialysis and diabetes--among other medical issues--his dad has continuing testing and evaluating going on, and one of my charges yesterday was to deliver some stuff to the hospital lab for them to work on. As far as I was concerned, I was going to the facility where he lives, picking the stuff up from the floor nurse while he was at dialysis, taking it to the lab, and leaving. Beast thought he had everything set up.

The first hurdle went up at the front 'reception' desk of the hospital where the volunteers demanded the name of the patient and then couldn't find him in the computer. Well, he's not a patient, so duh. I went on to the outpatient area and they couldn't find any record of this test. Turns out, we were supposed to pre-register the drop off. WTF?

So, I called Beast, who called his dad for the insurance info needed to register him, Beast called the registration desk, and that situation was resolved.

I went back in the lab and the tech informed me that she couldn't complete the orders from the doctor unless FIL was there because she needed a blood draw and his height/weight.

Huh? We were told--by this lab, where Beast picked up the equipment--that all we had to do was return the equipment and results. Nothing was mentioned about brining in FIL, nothing about a blood draw, nothing about pre-registering.

Of course, I couldn't go get FIL just then because he was still hooked up to the dialysis stuff for another 45 minutes or so half an hour away . Plus we would need to cancel his ride back to his apartment. Also, I needed to pick Sparky up from school at the same time a half an hour the other direction and get him home long enough to change clothes and eat before his band concert last night.

I was pissed, needless to say. The lab tech I was working with was not the one Beast had talked to--though she came out to 'apologize' (consisting of "I'm not sure who put my business card in the bag, because I wouldn't have said that"--some apology!). The one I worked with called the nephrologist several times to clarify what was going on, but he didn't return calls for the hour I was there. I told them several times that I would be happy to go get FIL after dialysis and bring him in, but I was annoyed (ahem) that we hadn't been told about this, and it was completely balling up the rest of my schedule.

Finally, in a stroke of genius, Beast called me and said, "Wait a second: if they need a blood draw to compare the results with...it won't work for you to bring him this afternoon. He's had dialysis. His blood won't resemble ANYthing from yesterday because it's been CLEANED! Duh."

Now. Explain to me why we, laypersons who don't 'do' medicine for a living, figured this out when the lab staff, who do 'do' this for a living, did NOT.

Really? No...REALLY??

The upshot--we'll do it all over again this coming weekend, and bring FIL into the hospital for the blood draw before he goes to dialysis next Monday.

So, 90 minutes after I walked in the building for a 10-minute (AT MOST) errand, I finally left with nothing to show for it except high blood pressure and 30 minutes of burned up cell phone usage. Beast probably burned through another 20 minutes on top of that.

The kicker? When Beast was registering FIL over the phone, the registrar basically said, "I don't see anything on this order from the doctor for a blood draw." He didn't tell me that until last night, fearing I might go apeshit on the tech.

I hope to hell I never get taken to this hospital as a patient. Every time we've dealt with them (ER for Beast, admission for FIL a couple of years ago, etc.) they have fucked up something. I know that mistakes happen, but that kind of track record in medical services is not something that makes me real confident.

I'm gonna be glad to get to work today where the insanity is, at least, not life-threatening.

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