I spent many years in healthcare, as a technologist, as a manager, and even worked for a major medical equipment company, managing the techs who would demonstrate and teach radiologic technologists how to use the latest, greatest equipment.
I’m glad those days are over–especially my time in management. It was awful enough when hospitals established their own collection agencies–complete with a stable of lawyers, of course. Now, as clinicians try to help patients in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital administrations do not help. Instead, they throw up roadblocks.
In some hospitals, health care workers have been forbidden from wearing masks as protection in the hallways.
In at least one hospital, personal protective gear was at a premium, so nurses put up a GoFundMe site and purchased masks, surgical shoe coverings, etc. Rather than appreciating the lengths that the nurses would go to help their patients, one nurse was suspended for distributing the unauthorized products.
We could blame it on the stable of lawyers, but they don’t actually decide. They advise, lean heavily against the possibility of a mega-million dollar hospital experiencing a couple thousand dollar judgement. They do add to administrators’ hesitance about making decisions.
As a former Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives with all kinds of letters after my name, here’s my suggestion.
- If it helps the patients, do it. Combat doctors and medics save many lives doing what needs to be done, not what the book says.
- If you are not actively involved in patient care, your job is to grease the skids for those who are.
- If you, or the person most important to you–parent, spouse, child–were the patient, would you want care delayed or withheld because of such stupid reasons?
Oh, and maybe have the administrators, lawyers, etc. assist by having actual contact with patients. They may not be qualified to provide patient care, but they can transport patients, clean and stock rooms, etc. Every other healthcare worker has and probably is doing such tasks today. If administrator and their staff feel it is beneath them, then they are in the wrong business.