LET'S TALK ABOUT POOR DISCHARGE PLANNING
WHERE IS THE ACCOUNTABILITY?
I am wondering who, if any one, knows how to "communicate" when it comes to discharges from a hospital. It appears to me that no one in the process has any idea of what is supposed to happen. I was to be 'discharged' at 4: pm yesterday. The unit nurses had to be ensured that any equipment I needed was at the house. They were told everything was in place at 4:00 pm. So, according to my calculations the process should have progressed. The transport provider was to be called to pick me up. The discharge paperwork should be filled out and explained to me somewhere around 4:00. What actually happened is that the nurse came in and told me pick up would be between 5 & 6 pm. Meanwhile I am dressed and sitting on the edge of the bed waiting. My next interaction with the unit nurse was that I would be picked up at 8:00 pm. At this, I was beginning to lose it. I know it wasn't her fault what was happening to me, what it was her fault because she didn't even try to call another transport service because a 'customer' of her hospital was already waiting 4 hrs. I, in no uncertain terms, told her that she and her peers perpetrate this kind of behavior from transport services. If they started not calling those who do these things it would hurt their business and perhaps, just perhaps, they would appraise their system of doing business and correct a few things. But this doesn't happen. It is like they are held captive. How many ambulance services does the Pittsburgh area have? I can assure you that Guardian Angel is not the only one in town. From here it doesn't get any better. It is now 9:00 pm. I am told the ambulance in down in the parking lot. It took them til 9:30 pm to make it to the sixth floor. In the meantime, in comes the 'charge' nurse with discharge papers to read to me. I did not want to hear anything she had to say and not so politely told her she should have done this at 4:00 pm when I was officially being discharged. It is now 5 1/2 hrs. I've been waiting. Now to the ambulance...the person sitting in the back with me is asking me what I thought were dumb questions like, 'why were you in the hospital? ' She had a handful of papers that she was looking at. She began to recite meds I was on which were all incorrect. I asked what she was reading...was it my discharge paper work? She told me no that they don't get those...she had old paper work somehow. Only the patient or family get the discharge papers. What sense does it make for her to not know my updated information? She would have no idea what to do if something happened to me...There is definitely many bumps in the delivery of this service of 'discharge planners'...It was an awful experience and someone needs to take notice and make a process that works! I got home at 10:20 pm. Making that even worse was that I had an admissions nurse waiting for me for six hrs. at my house so that I could be put on hospice.