Friday, February 01, 2008

The Heart Hospital...with a Heart!

"Watching Eyes" offers:

Some one said the other day, that the board gave him a "reprimand" for the way he handled the situation with Dr. Frothingham. I don't know if that is true or not. That's too little too late. (Dr. Frothingham's last day was yesterday.) :(

They also said that they then renewed his contract for another 2 years?! (Is that true?)

From what I have seen over the last years, Ray is known for 'forging' ahead. He really stretches out there. Bought all those clinics, doctors, labs, property and the KDH. This looks really great for him when others look at it on the surface. What they don't see, is that with every purchase, he started cinching the noose tighter around our necks at the hospital to cover those expendutures. Cheaper supplies were acceptable, even lack of supplies at times. Lack of staff was expected. Cutbacks HAD to be made to allow for progress out in the community.

As long as we complained, it was just nurses "B**ching". It gets written off very quickly as bashing 'the Man'. Even patients complaints are written off if we are the one's reporting them or if we take care of them without letting them get to upper management. I started some time ago offering the house Supervisors phone number and telling the patient and family, that unless they personally called and reported the problem, nothing would be done or changed to prevent it in the future because they would not listen to the nurse reporting it. This is how they run the business now. The patients or families who actually follow that advice and call the right person then will get 'compensated'.... Free meal tickets, an apology, several other things.

That really sounds nice for the lucky one who gets it, but really burns my bun for the many who should of gotten it and didnt because their complaints weren't public enough or were dealt with by us by understanding patients that liked us and were afraid that if they complained about the 'situation' that we would get in trouble.They say it's never acceptable to tell the patient that there isn't enouth staff. What else do you tell them? "Im sorry it took so long to get here, there is only 2 or 3 of us here and were were tied up in another room" This the patient understands. Doesn't like, but can understand especially from a caring and otherwise attentive nurse.

But upper management doesnt want us to indicate to the patients that it's their fault that we dont have adequate staff. I guess we are suppose to just look like we dont care? "I'm sorry it took me so long" only goes so far when it happens again and again, without someother form of explination on WHY it took so long. We also found out yesterday that the rumor about them planning to abolish the KDH name was true. It will be a sad day when I drive by there and no longer see that historic name. All of my children were born there.This is truely a sad time. Saying goodbye to The King's Daughters name and to Dr. Frothingham both in such a short space of time. Both will remain loved, respected and remembered by this Delta girl.

*Watching Eyes*

Fed Up In The Trenches said...

Yep, "service recovery" kits are made available to patients with complaints. My question -- is it really ok to buy their way out of poor service? Delivering plants, flowers, candy or other goodies does not excuse poor care. Now, don't get me wrong; I am a nurse too and I can tell you that if Ray Humphreys or Florence Jones had to function one day in a nurse's role, they would die.

The staffing matrix in place is not realistic at all. We are all worried about priorities such as medication administration, monitoring the patient and carrying out MD orders and when you have 10 patients of your own plus LPN's IVs, this becomes nearly an impossibility. It is very frustrating to see the kind of care our patients are receiving and know that you can only do your part.

Worst of all, our so called leaders of our hospital aren't concerned with patient care. They may speak those lies about quality care on television but take a walk around the place. Watching Eyes is right. Sub-standard supplies (I even heard an orthopedic surgeon a few days ago complaining of the cheap surgical supplies he had been forced to start using), lack of resources (a pillow is precious commodity) and having to read signs posted in the bathroom, med room, etc that state "Please do not clock in early or late as we cannot accrue overtime".

We all hear daily how "broke" the hospital is and how we need to help save money. But, wait a minute, in the public, Ray proclaims that all is great at the DRMC house. I, like you, have started giving out phone numbers to patients who are irate (and rightly so about their poor care); except I give them Florence's, Ray's or Allyson's numbers. I figure that's only right. He is calling all the shots. He needs to understand the entire picture.

And our board?- pitiful. They must all be cowards with no brains for allowing this to continue. And the four million marketing campaign? Just think what the hospital could have done with that. How sad. I sure wish we could have ditched Ray and his mean crew and hung onto Dr. Froth. He will be greatly missed. What a stupid stupid move, Ray.

After reading all of the recent comments, I can safely assume that DRMC employees are equally unimpressed by Ray's new ad campaign. More apparent is the fact that the many excellent employees of DRMC are tired of getting "slammed" for trying to do their jobs in an uncaring, understaffed, ill-equipped environment, while Ray and his cronies police the grounds for frivolous policy violations.

Let's talk about "service recovery". A friend of mine was recently a patient at DRMC. During his stay, he acquired a very serious and potentially deadly infection caused by a violation of sterile technique. Luckily, his family had him flown to Memphis where he remained for seven days to recover from the hosptial acquired infection.

But all was not lost! My friend returned home to find a brightly colored potted plant with a card thanking him for choosing DRMC! (I suppose the plant was multi-functional... it would either cheer his homecoming as a survivor of DRMC... or decorate his grave if not as fortunate.) Needless to say, my friend vowed that he would never return to DRMC for any reason!

"Service recovery" is about implementing swift, remedial actions to make sure that the causal factors have been identified and eliminated. Somehow a free lunch ticket seems to be inadequate to compensate one for a seven hour ER wait or a near death experience.

I have the greatest sympathy for the many fine employees of DRMC who have to endure the deplorable conditions in which they work. It is hard for me to believe that Ray's reign of terror can last much longer.



Anonymous said...

I don't think this administration or any administration will be able to transform DRMC into a premier healthcare facility.
Let's face it. It is not easy to run a hospital in an area where a huge percentage of the population is on Medicaid or have no insurance. Many hospitals in border states have closed because of the financial drainage from uninsured illegals.
It is very difficult to recruit and retain qualified people to an area that offers nothing and is infested with racism and dirty politics.
In fact, I am thankful just to have doctors in Greenville!!!

Patiently Awaiting Ray's Exit said...

You make a good point. However, in the past, DRMC has always been managed much more effectively than over the last 5-6 yrs. It is a small, hometown hospital that should provide basic services. No one expects to be able to have extremely specialized care in a rural area like ours. Think about it, how many people do you know who would deliver a preemie here and ok it to stay in DRMC's new NICU? Not my newborn! And, same goes for the heart program. The surgeon is a good one, I'm sure. But, he is only doing a mere handful of cases each month...maybe 3 - 5 on average I think? Call me crazy, but I'm gonna go to Jackson or Memphis where the surgeons do 2 - 3 a day and the nursing staff is comfortable with the post-op care because they do it daily. He closed our burn center that was a needed service because it lost money, he knows right now the heart program has lost money since he got the first surgeon in here, but he is keeping it going because its what HE wants.

DRMC was once a great place to work. Different story now! Mr. Humphreys has this crazy vision that does not fit the demographics of our rural MS Delta. If he would just work on improving the basics and quit trying to be such a big dog, he would see that 90% of the problems would disappear.

I, too, am thankful to have doctors in Greenville. However, I'd also like to know if me or my family needed the ER that we could go there for care and not have to wait seven hours to be seen. I know they claimed they had four critical patients. But, come on...four patients turns their world upside down so badly that other patients who have medical needs also are forced to wait seven hours??? Ridiculous. So, since we can't staff a department like the emergency room that is a necessity - why are we spending money we don't have on building a NICU and heart hospital???

The thing that I found most ironic about that whole 7 hour ER wait fiasco was that I'm preparing to watch the ten pm news and just before it airs the DRMC commercial starts up. The nurse says, "We'll make sure you see a doctor in minutes upon your arrival to the emergency room" followed by "We're Delta Regional Medical Center and we're building MS's next great hospital". Ten seconds later, you hear the anchor announce, "Just ahead, hear how one pregnant woman who was bleeding had to wait 7 hours at Delta Regional emergency room to see a doctor."
Sounds like Ray may have wasted that four million bucks. You can make promises all day long, but as long as you continue to treat nurses, other employees, patients, families, and even physicians the way he does, none of it is gonna matter. So, anonymous, you are right to a certain extent. There is probably no one who can "fix" DRMC after this administration has dug the hole so deep (I'm sure the only way out of debt will be a sell out to a private facility, and many folks have sworn for years thats why Ray brought on his old crew of cronies..who knows??), but if we could get him out of here and cut high dollar specialty services that are losing money hand over fist, we may start to see the good ole basic services be brought back a little stronger. Also, I think the general public and the board of trustees would be shocked to see how many faithful, dedicated, and experienced health care professionals would consider DRMC again. We have all sat back for nearly six years now and let Ray run the show. It's not working. Look at the place - a total mess. Come on board of sups, do your jobs.

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