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QUALITY: CNN’s Glen Beck–not a delighted patient

Looks like CNN’s Glenn Beck won’t say what his local hospital’s CEO would like to hear when Press-Ganey call him! He accuses the staff there of not caring.

At the hospital I was often treated more like a number than a patient. At times, staff members literally turned their back on my cries of pain and pleas for help. In one case a nurse even stood by tapping his fingers as if he was bored while my tiny wife struggled to lift me off a waiting room couch.

So far he hasn’t named names, but I suspect that when it gets out, it’ll be worse for the hospital than it having a bad overall mortality rating in some obscure state report. After all when Don Berwick and David Lawrence wrote about their wife and mother respectively, they went out of the way to praise the staff, while castigating the care system. Beck is not so kind.

I’m not sure Beck’s solution is too constructive.

That’s why I don’t want to hear anymore about universal health care or HMOs or the evils of insurance companies until each and every hospital in this country can look me in the eye and tell me that they their staff is full of truly compassionate people who treat their visitors like patients, not products. Hire and train the right people, and then and only then come talk to me about everything else you need.

But his complaints are echoed in a series of videos from Health care for All in Massachusetts which also start talking about problems with care quality. I wonder if Paul Levy will name names about the hospitals in the last two videos—Both prominent Boston teaching hospitals that both screwed up big time with medical errors

Final thought: perhaps Michael Millenson is finally influencing people….while he’s even still alive!

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6 replies »

  1. I think Glenn Beck’s experience as a patient and his criticisms of the “care” he received reveal that in spite of the tremendous costs, our current healthcare system is not working.
    I haven’t heard Beck’s solution for health care in this country other than to say that providing health care for everyone is wrong. As a conservative, I am sure his position is that every person in America should succeed or fail on their own, without government intervention, since we all start out equally. For example, I, as a female, should be as successful as Beck is despite different DNA and different backgrounds.
    Had our government, courtesy of NAFTA, not been so intent on sending so many jobs for which I and millions of Americans educated and trained to other countries, I might agree with Beck. But our government seems committed to erecting more obstacles for middle class Americans than can be overcome, much more so than it does on erecting a wall to keep people from entering this country, thus committing an illegal act.
    That Beck is one upper middle class American who can still afford health insurance for himself and his family is what I call luck, neither conservative nor Republican.
    In response to Kevin, above, who stated that universal health care would lead to worse care, I would like to know if he has ever pursued a health care field education? As someone who has, I saw a lot more caring among the lower paid employees, specifically the certified nurse assistants who chose not to continue their career path. In fact, I enjoyed my time caring for patients as a CNA far more than that I was able to spend when training as an LPN. Once I was working in that capacity, I was consistently scolded for not spending more time on paperwork and giving too much of my time to patients. Most of my classmates who were going on to become RNs were in it for the money they would earn, not because they gave a damn about the patients. Many were LPNs who wanted more money and to spend less time with patients. Once I became an LPN, I stopped there.
    If we pay nurses and doctors and other health care employees more and more and more, I guarantee you that the people in the hospitals will not be there for any other reason than money. Is that what everyone wants? That’s what you will get.
    The best care I have ever received was while I was traveling in and living in Europe, where the nurses and doctors were not earning as much as their American counterparts (and where they likely are not offered, like many American doctors, HMO employment contracts that offer salary, draw and bonus), but were extremely caring and compassionate, likely because they wanted to care for patients. When a child says he or she wants to be a doctor or nurse when he/she grows up, it’s not about the money: it’s about caring for others.
    At this time, I wonder if it’s just too late for America, and I grieve her. Agree or disagree, what we need is to come together and, in a show of unity that I’m sure would be construed as “anti-Republican”, find a way to help ourselves, all of us Americans.

  2. This Guy Glen Beck has “No Reason to Complain” after all he voted for George
    Bush who has voted down anything that may well benefit the American People…
    when is this guy going to realize like a lot of Americans who continue to vote
    against their own interests have to smarten up and see that the destruction of
    the very fabric of our country has been harmed by the likes of Glen Beck himself..
    surely he cannot be as dumb as he comes across… After all his mentality is in
    bed with the very people that have caused the Health crisis in this country… da
    da and da. I think Glen Beck is going to wake up one morning and realize the
    American People see him for what he is… and that he is someone who tells the
    opposite of the truth and hopes that Americans will by the crock of crap that
    comes from his mouth. Its over Becky Boy and you dont even see it…

  3. I know what Glenn is talking about.I had to witness my son screaming with pain for 3 hours,untill the dr. was good and ready to sign for said medication to be given.The pompous Dr. told my son that he was lucky he was given treatment that my son couldnt afford him. I was in a position that I had to apoligize for my sons pain and screaming ,he had been stabbed through no violance on his part ,he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.I have instucted my son to kiss ass when hes injured.he has since then suffered from depession.

  4. So what you’re suggesting is that once we have universal health care in the US, the medical facilities will be full of compassionate people? Poppycock. Salaries will probably decrease, thus attracting lower qualified workers. Universal health care will follow the same path as Medicare, limiting access and forcing MDs and medical facilities to refuse patients. Further, the CNN reporter is using argument by example. I can find just as many stories about compassionate care-givers and miracle outcomes.

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