Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ebola Exposes the Reality of Patient Care

I've been popping my popcorn and watching as ebola is given every opportunity to gain a foothold in the United States. I wish I could say I was surprised at how poorly it has been managed, but I'm not. This is what healthcare looks like in the US.

Hmmm. Let's review, shall we?

1. Failed to properly identify the patient as at risk and sent them home.

Yep. Happens every day. Doesn't even have to be ebola.

2.Staff lacks education on diagnosis and training to properly deal with it.

Uh-huh. That's normal too. Welcome to healthcare in America!

3. Patient says exactly what would lead to a correct diagnosis and is ignored.

Happens ALL the time. Very typical.

Dear America: How do you like your 'best healthcare in the world' now? Are you enjoying the preview of what's in store for you when you have your first big health issue?
Medicine is just as lethal as any disease. Ebola has found a new vector and it's our healthcare system.

I would like to think ebola will lead to heightened awareness of the many care failures patients deal with, but that's probably hoping for too much.

Healthcare is not perfect. Science isn't a magic wand. It's all fallible. It's just easier to ignore when it's not ebola. We have an opportunity here to see some hard truths, but I doubt we will take it.

Anyway, I'm surprised there have only been two infections in Texas. I expect we'll hear of more cases shortly.


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