Thursday, January 12, 2012

Can You Hear Me Now?

A typical exchange at work:

Beep beep. [Me, squinting to read callback number]
[Me, wandering the halls looking for a phone]
[Me, dialing]
[Me, waiting]
Four east can I help you?
Hi. Porter here. [Pleasant tone of voice] I was paged?
One sec…[muffled] Did anyone page Dr Porter?
[Me, standing in a hall, attached to wall by a curly handset cord from the forties, waiting]
Nobody says they paged you.
What unit is four east, anyway?
[Me looking at my pager again, tilting to better capture light in the corner of the LED readout]
Did I dial 5117.
No, this is 6117.
Thanks – g’bye. [Me quickly hanging up and redialing]
Recovery room. This is Dale.
Hi. This is Porter. [Less pleasant tone of voice] I was paged.
Umm. I’m the only one here. There were some residents here before.
Ok, thanks. Bye.
Beep beep.

Same exchange at my previous hospital:

[Me, walking toward my destination, looking at text message on my cell phone]
Colectomy Hgb 12.2 – stable

(Note that the second exchange was complete. The first was entering round two in a match of undetermined length.)

My new hospital is one big faraday cage.

The inefficiency of returning to communication modes of the seventies is staggering. At my last job I cursed the residents who had iPhones because the AT&T coverage was lame - we couldn’t talk phone to phone. But at least we could text. At my new job, I’m as land-line dependent as Marcus Welby.

The huge advantage of the inter-doctor text message is the ability to refer to the message again, instead of referring to my memory (of a phone conversation) or to the thigh of my scrubs where I wrote the patient ID number.

I just googled improve cell service in my hospital. I learned of the cellular repeater, which sounds brilliant. I wonder what they cost and how effective they are. Imagine the potential for expediting and improving patient care through accurate, timely, portable, re-accessible communication. Planning to discuss with our director of communications tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. "Imagine the potential for expediting and improving patient care through accurate, timely, portable, re-accessible communication."

    The world is changing nowadays because of technology. Hospitals must also change on some of its aspects to cope up with the changing time, eh.

    Thanks for the share,
    Peny@nurse scrubs