WASHINGTON: Yesterday, American hospital administrators took a bold step in voicing collective frustration with their work environment, as a throng of over 12,000 of them banded together, carrying signs and marching through the National Mall to the steps of Congress.
The administrators protested deteriorating work conditions which they deem unsafe and hazardous to them as well as their patients. Mitchell Waterford, MBA, led the group and was interviewed by Gomerblog.
“At times, we are forced to attend upwards of three meetings per day, with barely enough time for a boutique coffee drink between meetings. This, coupled with the constant need to unceasingly reprimand staff for failing to satisfy their patients, has become untenable. The horrors of dissatisfied patients could be an eye-opening documentary, and the rates of unsatisfied patients are continuing to climb, despite our continued pleas for more administrators,” he explained.
“Just last week, an administrator in our system had to skip his hour lunch and settle for a stale bagel from the physicians’ lounge. Another had to cancel his 4:40 tee-time, for Pete’s sake! Where does the abuse stop?”
Waterford went on to describe his vision moving forward. The goal is to have 3:1 administrator:patient coverage for hospital inpatients. Tele-administrators based in the U.K. and Australia will staff after hours so that each patient always has an individual administrator assigned to his case and no one has to work after hours (except clinical staff, of course). Weekend coverage is a bone of contention; the plan so far is to have a video-recorded administrator repeating key words and phrases in response to any question or concern.
“We strive for a patient-centered experience, I can sense you are frustrated. Please go on so that I can understand how we can better serve you,” and “I will notify your nurse immediately” will be played on an endless loop while staff titrates narcotics and benzodiazepines until each weekend inpatient is rendered unable to ask questions and fully amnestic to Saturdays and Sundays.
In outpatient clinics, he believes that each provider should have a dedicated administrator overseeing every patient visit from the hours of 9a-4p to ensure optimal patient satisfaction.
“Our commitment to patient satisfaction is unwavering. In the satisfaction, er, I mean healthcare business, you get what you pay for. If we have to cut clinical staff or clinical salaries to achieve our goals, then so be it. Our patients deserve better.”