Sunday, April 6, 2014

How an Advocate Can Help

A True Conversation

A patient's family member calls for help on a Friday evening.

Husband – My wife has been in the hospital for 5 days and is still in pain.  They want to send her home tonight.

Advocate – Are you concerned about her going home?
Husband – Yes.  She hasn’t seen the specialist and I asked for a consultation.  Days have gone by and nothing.
Advocate – Who have you spoken to?
Husband – Nursing supervisor, patient advocate and some nurses.  They walk out of the room.  I get angry and they turn their back on me.  I’m exhausted and don’t know what to do.
Advocate – Tell me how I can help.
Husband – I don’t know.  I don’t think she should be going home yet though, and its 8:00 on a Friday night.  It’s so late already.  No one is here.
Advocate – Do I have your permission to call on your behalf?
Husband – Yes.
Advocate – Tell me your wife’s name and room number
Calling the hospital and leaving a message for the nursing supervisor.
My name is Ilene Corina.  I am with PULSE of NY a patient safety organization and I need the person in charge to call me back.  I was contacted by the family of a patient in your hospital about concerns they are having. 
Operator – Who is the patient?
Advocate – I will discuss the details when I get a call back.
Nursing supervisor calls back within 10 minutes.
Nursing Supervisor - Hi my name is xxx from xxx. Someone called about a problem?
Advocate – My name is Ilene Corina.  I am with PULSE of NY a Long Island patient safety organization.  I am calling about Mrs. xxx  in room xxx.  I am not going to ask you any questions about her but her husband feels it is not appropriate to send her home yet.  Can you please look into this?
Nurse – Yes, I’m on my way and will take care of it now.  Thank you.
Husband calls back a few minutes later.  She stayed another night and the next day got the consultation she requested.

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