You sprain your ankle badly, and aren’t sure if it’s broken or not. It’s 6pm on a Friday evening, so you head to the ER to have it x-rayed. At triage you ask “how much might this cost me?” Typically,… Continue reading
“Mommy, my tummy hurts.”
It’s 4am. Your 8-year-old son is shaking you awake. After you confirm that in fact, he is having abdominal pain and not just a bad dream, you head down to the local hospital emergency department to have him checked out.
Little did you suspect, a variety of factors beyond your control in the next 2 hours, having little to do with your son’s medical condition, will determine whether your family has to declare bankruptcy or not.
Published at Fierce Healthcare on March 5, 2010
As a physician who works as a hospitalist and a primary-care doctor, I understand the complexity of discharging a patient from the hospital, and all the moving pieces that must come together to successfully transition a patient back to the outpatient setting. If even one link in the chain fails, a patient often ends up back in the emergency department and/or readmitted to the hospital as, in hospital-speak, a “bounce-back.”
These readmissions are like a canary in a coal mine, Continue reading
Published at Hospital Impact on September 15, 2010
The clinical scenario is familiar to many doctors.
An elderly man arrives at California Pacific Medical Center’s emergency department in San Francisco at 11 p.m. on a Saturday by ambulance, unconscious and severely ill. A neighbor had called 911 after he failed to answer the phone or door. No friends or relatives are available, and the man has never visited this emergency department before.
The treating doctors must Continue reading