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getaclue

Enabler
Jun 19, 2013
10,111
30,641
1,152
Central Florida
I just got off the phone with the cancer center, and my oncologist's nurse.

My last oncologist visit was back in July. I was scheduled again for Oct., but had to cancel. I called to get another appointment, and they can't get me in until Feb. ???? They explained that due to the recent upswing in Covid cases, protocols have changed. In fact, there have been LOTS of changes. The changes are more about protecting the hospital from liability issues, rather than protecting the patients.

While I've not heard of hospitals being sued, if patients might have contracted Covid in their facilities, apparently the cancer center I go to, which is part of the hospital, IS concerned about these type lawsuits, if not now, then in the future.

They did the normal thing about calling when you arrive for your appointment, then sitting in your car, until they text you to enter. When I go see my oncologist, they do my blood work right there, when the doctor leaves the room. Not anymore. They only do in-house labs and diagnostics now, meaning if you aren't in the E.R., or admitted, they won't do labs or diagnostics on you. All EXTRA nursing staff, diagnostic staff and lab staff, were let go. The line of thinking is, the fewer of their own people that you come into contact with, the less likely you are of catching anything from their personnel. Again, this is NOT about protecting the patients, as much as it is about relieving them of liability.

Now, when my oncologist orders blood work, CT scans, Pet Scans, Bone Scans, Bone Density scans, etc. They can't do them there anymore. Instead, they will send me to Lab Corp, or Quest Diagnostics to get blood work done. These are more like mass production labs. I get to sit in the waiting room, with 25 or more other people, waiting my turn. Hey, it's safe. Everybody's wearing their masks, and are 6 feet apart. There's much less risk of exposure, than the nurse at my oncologist's office doing a blood draw, right?

Now that they don't do any of the medical device diagnostics, they send everyone to Tower Diagnostics. This too, is a mass production medical device diagnostic center. From X-rays, Ultrasounds, CT scans, etc. they herd in the masses, and crank out the tests. Once again, I'm sitting in a waiting room, with 25 or more people waiting our turns, but totally safe, because we're all wearing masks, and 6 feet apart.

Actually, I have a semi-sneaky way of getting some of this done, without having to use these "herd the masses" diagnostic centers.

Anyway, all of this came out, sort of as an excuse for someone having dropped the ball from my last visit in July, then again in Oct. In July, at my regular oncologist appointment, my doctor renewed my cancer meds, and ordered a diagnostic test. I had my blood drawn, and left. I never heard back about scheduling the diagnostic test. Even when it's not done there, they do call you because you need the referral, prescription, or whatever, to get things done. No follow up. It's time sensitive too. Part of the blood work, is a liver panel, which they have to have a current one, before administering the dyes. On Oct. 9, I was going to mention it to my doctor, but had to cancel that appointment, BUT I did speak to her nurse about it. She said she would re-submit the orders, and someone would get back to me.

I'm about to run out of one of my cancer meds (It comes from a specialty pharmacy). I got to thinking about it, and they had not resumed delivery since July (I get 6 month's worth at a time). I called them. I was told that they never got a new prescription, and the old one had run out. They were going to e-mail my doctor's office. About an hour later, the specialty pharmacy called me back. They had e-mailed, and someone named Carmen responded that they could find no current info on me, nor any prescription for the medication. They asked me to call my doctor's office. I did. I spoke with my doctor's nurse. She's the one I spoke to on Oct. 9, that resent all the doctor's orders. We had already gotten a plan of action in regards to the diagnostics, BUT I brought it to her attention about what the specialty pharmacy had said.

Not only did someone drop the ball in regards to sending them my prescription, BUT she too couldn't figure out who Carmen was, or why Carmen didn't know I'm still a current patient, or that my prescription was to be renewed. That will be taken care of today.

One of the things I love about where I go, is they are all networked, and I can log in to My Chart, and get everything. I get test results, lab results, as soon as the doctor does. All medications, refill dates, etc. are in there. All conversations, emails, etc. about me, are in there. Yes, I saw the actual e-mails the pharmacy sent, including the last one requesting prescription renewal. It sure does help a lot, when situations like this arise. I'll look in a little bit, and make sure they sent the prescription.
 

getaclue

Enabler
Jun 19, 2013
10,111
30,641
1,152
Central Florida
Our medical university teaching facility covers several city blocks, both deep, and wide. It's expansive. There is a fairly new, large cancer center there. They offer diagnostic, surgical, and treatment for all types of cancer patients. My cancer surgeon teaches there, and he's considered the 3rd. best in his field, in the country. They also do a lot of research regarding cancer there, and patients are the first to benefit from that research. For quite sometime after it opened, there were patients, but it was not overly crowded. Most people went to the local Moffit Cancer Center Hospital, just down the road a little way.

Now, the word got out, and it's a very busy place. Trying to get appointments for tests takes a lot longer than it used to. Still, they actually have one of the best labs, and the best of all the latest, greatest, diagnostic equipment money can buy. It used to be that you could get an appointment for diagnostic testing, within a few day. Now, it typically takes a week, to three weeks for an appointment.

On this same campus, off to one side, is a fairly large, 9 story, nice looking facility, that always looks fairly empty. That building is dedicated to dementia/alzheimer treatment, and research. They too have their own state of the art lab, and all the latest, greatest medical diagnostic equipment in there, but not many people know about it, or are able to utilize it.

A few years ago, when my cancer surgeon wanted some tests run very quickly, he had one of his staff call to get me in. The soonest they could get to me, even with him wanting it done quickly, was a week. He told her to call the dementia center, and schedule it there. I was scheduled for the very next morning. The staff person was impressed, and made a comment. He told her that the facility there was sort of under utilized, however, the chief medical staff was aware of it, and able to utilize it if they needed test results quickly.

I went back to see him, right after they finished with my test. By the time I got across the campus, to his office, the results were ready for him. We discussed my condition at the time, and he scheduled me for surgery. While we were talking, he informed me that, since the dementia/alzheimer facility had performed diagnostics on me, that opened the door, so anytime I needed any lab, or diagnostic equipment tests, I cold schedule it there. That's the "sneaky" way I get my diagnostics that I had mentioned earlier. They have equipment that my cancer hospital doesn't even have available.

The hospital, and cancer hospital I go to, are teaching hospitals. They're in cahoots with the University Medical Teaching facility. All the computerized data from all the facilities are interlinked. When my doctor puts the orders in, and there is correct follow up, the University medical facility calls the same day, or at the latest, the next morning to let me know the orders are in, and they want to schedule me. I tell the caller to transfer the call to the dementia/alzheimer facility. They usually schedule me the following day, or the one after that for whatever is needed.

Here's the cool part. My oncologist teaches at the University medical facility as well. The first time she put orders in, she was going to write them on a prescription pad, so I could go to one of the "herd the masses through" type facilities. I told her I'd have it done at the University. Just put the orders in, and they would pick it up from there. The next time I went in, she mentioned that I managed to get my testing done at the university cancer facility very quickly, they must have had a cancellation, and just been waiting for my call. I never said a word. She did comment that it was funny, because usually the location, cancer facility, would be on the test results. There was no location on my tests. I never said a word. A few months later, when she ordered more tests, same thing. Now she was curious as to how I'm getting in so fast to the cancer facility for tests, and why there was no location, indicating they were done at the cancer facility on any of my test results. This happened twice, so it was no coincidence.

I told her that Dr. Cox, my cancer surgeon, and I had a secret about that, and I was not going to spill the beans. I guess she asked him, and he wouldn't tell her either. She comments on it just about every time it happens.
 

Peep_Show

Free Ranging
Mar 14, 2010
5,601
8,136
546
Corrales, NM
Morning, all!

Had an Old Folks happening this morning. Was distracted with what I was doing and had a trip and fall on the patio. Managed to bruise my thumb pad and my knees which were secondary to the fall are starting to whine. Pooh! So a bit of naproxen with the morning coffee. Probably going to be good and sore tomorrow. Off to find some pain/ache salve in a bit.

One of our dogs is a Therapy Dog that my husband certified for his counseling sessions. She came right to my side and has been very concerned ever since. She's very empathic, albeit a bit of a mischievous Dennis the Menace brat when not in human presence. When there's a tomato in the middle of the living room, there's no question about who countersurfed the red ball from the kitchen. But she's a love and one of those dogs that if you're on the sofa, she'll climb up and lay down next to you just to touch you.
 

microchick

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Dec 31, 2014
9,248
40,213
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NE Missouri
This, sadly, is almost an understatement. I worked for a surgical/pharmaceutical company, and we ran training sessions for surgeons. I try not to generalize about groups of people, but across the board I found this to be true - coupled with total disregard for others.
There's an old joke in the medical community.

What is the difference between God and a Surgeon?

God knows that HE isn't a SURGEON!

@getaclue, I am so sorry that you are having to play trick pony in order to get medical care. I hate jumping through hoops but now it is almost a given that I have to also.

My Rheumatologist's office is located in a Hospital Clinic. No way I am going to step foot in a hospital until I am forced to, literally and I told them that when I called and canceled. for me in his office.

Being a nurse I got over being overly modest about things the first time doctors walked into our lounge while we were changing into our scrubs once night, walked straight to the coffee pot, pour cups while holding a conversation and walked by 3 of us in various states of undress without even glancing at us. I wasn't going to object to dropping trou enough for somebody to ram a needle in my gluteus minimus muscle while standing outside beside my car.

He thought it was a good idea!

So Clue, I'm sorry. This covid mess has brought out the bad as well as the good in medical care. Do I think it will get better? I am doubting it but staying hopeful. I think it's going to take some time.
 

ronott1

A chicken will always remember the egg
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
Mar 31, 2011
65,816
178,151
1,982
Woodland, CA
My Coop
Morning, all!

Had an Old Folks happening this morning. Was distracted with what I was doing and had a trip and fall on the patio. Managed to bruise my thumb pad and my knees which were secondary to the fall are starting to whine. Pooh! So a bit of naproxen with the morning coffee. Probably going to be good and sore tomorrow. Off to find some pain/ache salve in a bit.

One of our dogs is a Therapy Dog that my husband certified for his counseling sessions. She came right to my side and has been very concerned ever since. She's very empathic, albeit a bit of a mischievous Dennis the Menace brat when not in human presence. When there's a tomato in the middle of the living room, there's no question about who countersurfed the red ball from the kitchen. But she's a love and one of those dogs that if you're on the sofa, she'll climb up and lay down next to you just to touch you.
It is good that you have a support Dog!

Hopefully the fall did not cause too much damage
 

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