Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Did Duke Medical really "no care" my dad?

Oh, where are Conservatives for Patients Rights when we need them!?

I hope today we will get to the bottom of why my dad has repeated denied care and treatment at Duke Medical for the consequences of an infection that was ignored in August 2008 by a Duke Hospitalist.

I called Duke Risk Management and asked if dad had been no-cared.

It seems frankly unethical to no-care an elderly Stage 4 cancer patient that is sick because Duke Hospitalists missed a foot infection. Just saying . . .

Ahhh, socialized medicine at Duke Medical. It seems that is precisely what Duke is prepping for. Just like Obama wants .... easier (and cheaper) to let the old ones suffer in silence & die if there is a federal medical board that can decide what treatments are acceptable.

I just did not realize that the prototype for the federal medical board is located withing the hallowed halls of Duke University.

Elderly patients are not the only ones to be injured in this scenario. The awesome Duke Clinic doctors, the incredible clinicians and surgeons are also injured by reputation. And there are absolutely phenomenal surgeons at Duke. Oncologists and surgeons have literally saved dad's life.

But the mix of Duke Hospitalist and Duke Clinic physician is oil and water. There is no communication, cooperation or coordination of care. It seems that the issue of "turf" is with the Duke Hospitalists. Each and every time I call one of Duke Clinic doctors during an admission, the Clinic doctors are helpful to me.

(The best scenario was in September 2007 when I asked the Duke Hospitalist to please order a urology consult since dad had a serious UTI and had recently undergone surgery on the prostate with a ED visit shortly thereafter.) The Duke Hospitalist lied to me and told me she ordered the consult directly to dad's Duke Clinic urologist but that he was not cooperating! That seemed odd since the Duke Clinic urologist was a terrific man. I called dad's urologist and he rushed to the DUH. The Duke Clinic urologist said he wished someone had told him that his patient was hospitalized because he was downstairs at DUH performing surgery the day prior and would have come sooner. When Duke Clinic urologist arrived at dad's room, I heard the DUH staff trying to tell him to report first to the Hospitalist. I was relieved to hear the urologist say "he is my patient." I love that urologist --- it makes me wish I had a prostate!)

It was the Duke Hospitalists (from August 2008) that ignored dad's foot infection. They never even thought about the fact that metal in dad's foot (from a recent Duke Medical surgery) would create a different complication in terms of infection. They just ignored the foot until the marvelous Mark Easley, MD (Duke orthopedic surgeon) recognized the serious infection months later.

Why months later? Because there was no planned follow-up or continuity of patient care post hospital discharge! Way to go Duke.

I begged Dr.
Easley to look at dad's foot. And Dr. Easley quickly got dad into the clinic. That was November 2008.

I absolutely do not blame Dr. Easley for avoiding dad's increased infection and pain now. I respect Dr. Easley way too much to ever blame him for anything. There is no better orthopedic surgeon or human being in the medical community than Dr. Mark Easley. (and of course that now former Duke Clinic urologist!)

It must suck for Dr. Easley to constantly clean up (literally) the messes of Duke Hospitalists.

But someone must help dad. Or dad is gong to die soon.

I wonder how long it will be before I hear back from Risk Management. I expect that there won't be a return call --- I will have to call back in a few hours.

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