Intergovernmental Healthcare Trip
Tuesday I spoke to a doctor working a busy Emergency Room in Florida. I could hear how busy the place was, and the doctor spoke with me while being interrupted several times. “Yes.” “Over there.” “OK.” During the fractured conversation, I found out that a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Living Will form provided by a Veterans Administration Clinic in Florida, initialed and signed by the patient, and witnessed by two neutral parties, is not recognized by non-VA hospitals in Florida. In this case, it was the patients wish for a “DNR” (Do Not Resuscitate) order, but the signed paperwork was insufficient. What was acceptable? The next of kin telling a doctor and a nurse the patient wanted to be classified a “DNR.” Over the phone!
Government bureaucracy is just one of many things screwed up about healthcare in the United States, but in my experience, the healthcare workers are not on the list. I’ve already written about my excellent experience with VA system employees, and the doctor and nurses this week have been professional and empathetic. Working with sick patients and their families has got to be physically and emotionally draining, and complying with various government regulations, while well intentioned, just adds to stress in the system.
There is an effort at the Federal level to trim red tape from Medicare. This week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced proposed changes to regulations cited as “unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome on hospitals and health care providers.” Secretary Sebelius said, “By eliminating outdated or overly burdensome requirements, hospitals and health care professionals can focus on treating patients.”
“…focus on treating patients…”
That’s why health care professionals get into the field. To help patients. Not to fill out paperwork or witness a “DNR” request over the phone. Kronos for Healthcare never loses sight of this priority and our solutions help over 3,000 hospitals work toward it every day. Helping healthcare organizations stay compliant so they can focus on patient care is just one of the ways. Here’s a recent report from Mercer to help healthcare organizations prepare for and stay compliant with the Affordable Care Act.
Now I’ve got to check in on a patient.