So what does this mean?

I recently bumped into a physician I hadn't seen in a while. Good to see them. Right away they said I don't see you often at the hospital but I follow you on linked in all the time. "Be Part of the solution not the problem"....hummm what does that mean exactly.

So I write a lot about the dysfunction of healthcare. The issues we all know about or some of us know about but few actually explain in detail the problems we run into on a daily basis. We tell the stories. Stories that no one would hear about and honestly some don't believe happens. Believe me you can't make this stuff up.

So this is how I took this comment. If I'm complaining or perceived to be complaining all the time I am not providing a solution. Or perhaps if I point out the issues that go on in the system I'm part of the problem. Is that true? Am I part of the problem because I bring these issues out to the public? It made me think about this quite a bit since that comment was made.

I believe we have the answers. No, not me specifically but those who work in the system. We know if we communicate better less "bad" things happen. We know if we actually care for a moment for our patients the outcomes are better. Defining what care is a problem because each situation is different. But I know the solution to many of the problems in healthcare are related to over inflated incomes on top; decreased staff in the middle and nurses not having a voice. That's right nurses. And who are the most visible and the largest group in the hospitals??? Nurses. Yet they have been taken away from the bedside and put in front of the computer. Has this improved care? I would say no. What it has done is make nurses obsessed with what needs to be checked off because if they don't there are consequences. The solution? Bring the nurses back to the bedside

Inflated salaries? I think the state of Connecticut had a solution to that last year in the legislature when they tried to bring legislation through that stated if any administrator in a non profit hospital made more than $500,000.00 a year they could not be deemed non profit. 

Solutions? We all have them the problem isn't someone who brings out the issues. The problem is the system is driven by revenue and not care. 

So my answer is this. I do provide solutions. Actual solutions or solutions that are obvious but no one care to do anything about it. When someone says something like this to me I realize how embedded they are in the system they are in. That they do not have the ability to recognize what is happening to a patient when they are in the hospital and more so when they leave. They truly believe their providing the best care, the best information and have the best outcomes.

So my solution to everything in healthcare is to bring back caring. Bring back the nurse who can sit next to the patient and ask how they are and mean it. Bring back the staff that work together as a team and not be so worried about their job because they are bullied into overtime or working understaffed. Bring back what is reasonable to be paid as an administrator. Don't come with your hand out to the state when you are making $3 million dollars plus bonus' and you've shut down the daycare in your hospital because you say you can't afford it. And then threaten to lay off nurses. Don't tell the staff that when census is down they need to use their own vacation time to make up their weekly wage they were hired for. And don't waste so much money on advertising to try and convince everyone how great you are.

So the next time someone says to you "be part of the solution not the problem" ask them what does that mean exactly?? I wasn't sure, but I am now.

Ask An Advocate

Part of educational series by PAFY, Inc.

Sharon Gauthier RN/MSN/CGM

www.patientadvocateforyou.com