As patients becomes more complex, the tribal systems we use to look after them remain stuck in the 18th Century when the treatment for everything was amputation and, if you survived, leeches. The large modern hospital is becoming a battleground of competing SODs* and SONs** practising their art in a multi-organ (failure) world. Many staff lack acute medical skills; those with such expertise are siloed far away from the ward in emergency departments, operating theatres and ICUs. Despite disease not knowing or caring what time it is, all hospitals remain solar powered with minimal nocturnal on-site expertise. As nursing & medical staff move more towards rotating rosters where no-one knows more than a single-sentence-summary of their patient’s complex physiological, pathological & pharmacological needs, an ever-present vigilant family member may become the only hope of surviving any acute admission.
The two most dangerous words in healthcare may well be ‘_my_ patient’.
Come listen to a middle-aged intensivist rant about how things were so much better ‘back in the day’*** and bask in the utopian dream of a healthcare system that provides better, safer, patient-centred care.
*Single Organ Doctor
**Single Organ Nurse