Imagine arriving at the bedside of a patient who has taken a massive overdose of a tricyclic. Though you are well trained and utterly prepared to treat the wide complex tachycardia that appears before your eyes, your Pyxis is bare and there is no bicarb to be had. Luckily, all you have to do is calculate the equivalent millimoles of sodium found in a “Hot Salt” formulation and give that. Or, keep reading for tips and tricks to avoid the math and find an easier alternative.
For anyone who has read articles about the negative aspects of patient experience and satisfaction, such as The Atlantic piece The Problem With Satisfied Patients or the op-ed Death by Patient Experience in the ER, embracing patient experience may seem absurd. As medicine has slowly evolved from paternalism to mutual autonomy or shared-decision making, more and more feel that the pendulum has swung too far. They fear that healthcare now too closely resembles a service industry. Patient experience or “satisfaction” is interpreted to mean “the customer is always right”. You may have heard Burger King’s slogan of “Have It Your Way” (or “You Can’t Have It Your Way”) thrown around jokingly. Having read the aforementioned articles, one would be forgiven for assuming that patient experience efforts will result in mutually assured destruction: poor care for patients and high levels of burn-out for physicians.
To those of you who take the time to skim this first paragraph to see whether you will read the whole article, thank you. In my next two articles, I want to address why many physicians hate the term “patient experience”, why every physician intuitively knows what is fundamental to a good patient experience, and why patient experience is actually why we went into medicine. First, I put forth for your review the following Facebook post that I saw on Physician Mom’s Group, a Facebook group of over 76,000 physician moms. I reached out to the author for permission to share it with you all.
The fab five…the fearless five…the faithful five. This group of five Methodist ED physicians will answer any call—and this year, they’re celebrating 20 years of service in the IU Health Methodist Hospital Emergency Department. Bart Besinger, MD, Christian Strachan, MD, Julie Welch, MD, Edward Bartkus, MD, and Christopher Weaver, MD, recently answered some questions about what attracted them to a career in emergency medicine, the rewards of working in Methodist’s Level I Trauma Center and their most memorable moments from the past 20 years.
“As emergency medicine physicians, we never know from one day to the next what we’ll be doing—suturing a laceration or something that has the potential to save a life,” Taylor said. “And when we can save a life—it’s beautiful.” Read more to learn how Dr. Gregory Taylor developed his passion for medicine at a young age.