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CHICAGO, IL – “Simply outrageous,” were comments expressed by physicians and nurses in regards to how hospital administrators were implementing new management policies at Mercy Hospital.  Administrators are informing GomerBlog that the changes to patient care are stemming from new Medicare reimbursement policies that link reimbursement to patient satisfactions scores.

“We must please every patient that comes into our facility,” said hospital administrator Jean Halbertson.  “We can’t afford to get low patient satisfaction scores since we will lose out on 34% of our reimbursement for them.  It is quality-driven healthcare now.”

In theory, the new policies make sense, but doctors and nurses aren’t seeing eye to eye with administrators.

Patient satisfactionEM physician, Dr. Rita Makerton, is furious.  “Okay, now administrators want us to cater to drunks that come in the ER.  Hell no, I’m not bending over backwards for these guys. Apparently we are supposed to provide a quiet dark room for them to nurse their hangovers, provide bacon-laced gastric lavage tubes if required, and even provide them omelettes when they awaken from their drunken stupor.”

Drunks aren’t the only ones now getting “improved” quality treatment.  ICU patients on the ventilator who want their ET tube removed are now being granted that request, even if they don’t meet extubation criteria.

“We just don’t want patients on the vent to write us bad evals once they are better,” said Halbertson.  “This is why we are having ICU staff follow the requests of patients.”

“Listen to this BS,” spewed Dr. Rick Dweenter, an ICU attending.  “I had an ARDS patient requiring mechanical ventilation last week.  He kept shaking his head and scribbled on a white board that he wanted the tube out.  Well, guess what, administrators told me if I wanted to have a job here still, that I had to pull the tube so we could get better patient satisfaction scores.  Guess what?  The tube was pulled and he needed emergent intubation again several hours later!”

The psychiatry ward is probably making the biggest adjustment to their care plans. Schizophrenic patients who don’t want to take medication are being told they don’t have to, as long as they write good patient satisfaction evals before being discharged.  They are also being given a courtesy one-way bus ticket somewhere else.

“You won’t believe what one administrator told me about suicidal patients,” an anonymous psychiatry nurse told GomerBlog.  “They said if a patient wants to commit suicide, ‘just do the right thing,’ but before doing it, ‘just make sure a satisfied eval is filled out, before ya know, doing what you have to do to appease them.’  It was just sick to hear that!”

AMA patients are now being released without any resistance as long as evals are filled out on their way out the door.  Laboring pregnant patients who don’t want IVs or vital sign monitoring are being allowed to carry out their birth plans to the ‘T,’ despite having preeclampsia.  Smokers on oxygen are being prescribed multiple oxygen tanks to take home, even though household explosions from smokers igniting tanks are on the rise.  There is even talk of allowing patients to sell drugs from their ICU beds.

“This hospital is out to please patients and we will go to whatever length to do so,” said Halbertson.  “Excellent satisfaction and maximal reimbursement is our motto now.  In fact we plan to send 40% of our staff, including nurses and doctors, to hospitality management school to improve our reimbursements.”

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  • Dl James

    We’ve had working girls admitted for chest pain found conducting business in their room. I suppose it can get pretty cold in the winter …

  • Mary Beth Casey

    The system is either in want for more law suits, or they have just given up on QUALITY care.
    To allow an intubated patient dictate when he/she can be extubated is criminal, and for a “more appealing PSS”. Are you kidding me?
    Gone are the days of the hospitals being the seconds “homes” to the staff, and the loyalty. Now, since it is a conglomeration and big business, it’s treated as callously by the employees.
    Shame on administrators for allowing Medicare to bully you around with a frivolous metric such as Patient Satisfaction Scores. If you want a metric that is more HEALTH conscience an will truly drive DOWN health care cost, measure how many hospital successfully offer and follow successful Smoking Cessation Programs. Oh, I forgot, the Tobacco Industry is in the Government’s back pocket, having Medicare force these ridiculous metrics on us.

  • jenmom

    Wine for the nurses?

  • Peggy O’Harra

    As a 32 year nursing veteran, I am sad to think that we are now supposed to allow unqualified family members to direct care, when highly trained medical professionals are available, and working hard for good outcomes. If everyone that comes to the hospital knows more than we do, why come in for care? Stay home and figure it out!

  • Bonnye Thomas

    They are running a business of course! But that business is saving lives…not catering to everyone.

  • Gomerblog

    So true!

  • Lee Harper

    Wine, yes, that might help.

  • Joan Cunningham Adams

    By the same token Peggy Elsmore, the good nurses far out number the not good ones.

  • Gomerblog

    The customer is always right! But our customers don’t pay…

  • Peggy Elsmore

    The patients are aware of the imbalance. They would prefer a clean room and more nurses. The good patients out number the not good ones.

  • Drew Miller

    12 years of Critical Care! And Friday and Saturday night drunk baby sitting! With a few drug overdoses! …. Yea?! …. Welcome my new world of Nursing Informatics!! And EMR builds!!!!

  • Tama Ellis

    It has been heading this way for a long time. It would be nice if the hospitals put the only thing that will help in place. More high quality staff. Instead we hear you are doing great! Just do a little better.

  • Keith Bartlett

    Especially when the patient is nothing but a MAJOR ASS to EVERYONE that enters his/her room

  • Jill Sherman

    I wish they would take the nurse’s satisfaction scores into consideration!!

  • Claudia Marozzi

    Running a business it appears

  • Maria Martinez

    Amazing

  • Harold Arthur Fowler

    biar di bilang eksis saya harus tetap komen,walaupun sebenarnya saya lagi offline Gomerblog

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19.4K Shares