Thursday, February 09, 2006


The situation that has evolved between PRMC and RRVR has been simmering for some time. The Special Procedures Room issue (contractual exclusivity,) which was violated by PRMC was, in retrospect, a shot across the bows. Dismantalling the line-of-site antenna on top of the hospital, which allowed the images from the North Campus to be transmitted to the South for reading was a second.

A PACS (a means of digitally storing and transmitting images,) was coming, it was just a matter of time. RRVR wanted to review vendors and have the hospital sit in, back when Christus was here, but they had sale on their minds, and weren't buying. The radiology group bought theirs and offered to carry support if the hospital bought into the system. Again, no sale.

PRMC put together an advisory team to evaluate PACS systems, but look: the radiologists (the ones that would actually read the finished product and utilize the greatest amount of the capabilities)...weren't included, despite having just gone through the implementation of a working PACS.

A voice-recognition system for dictation was attempted and shelved for later because of problems (it didn't recognize voices.)

In the meantime, PRMC tries to evict RRVR. (The group is moving, but not until March.)

Now comes the rollout of both the new PACS and the recognition system--exactly what would be needed for a off-site radiology group to start...and the current group would have to work out the bugs...not likely! Making things simpler for the competition isn't going to happen.

But, this last episode probably shouldn't be a complete suprise. "Hud" Connery's prevous company (not Health Trust, but Arcon Healthcare, which went bankrupt in 1998) was based on the Virtual Hospital concept, similar to that which was implemented successfully by the University of Iowa.

In that episode, the little guys got hurt, like New World Printing, an office supply company that was owed $340.62 for June and August of 1998--and lost it to the bankruptcy in which the company left a handwritten note stuck in the door of the court saying they were too broke to re-organize. And the staffs of nine facilities that went under with minimal notice.


Anonymous said...

The saddest part of all, is that PRMC really believes that "virtual " Radiology is as good as and equal to in house (american graduate) Radiologists.I have seen over and over that all the current administration is interested in , is a warm body to fulfil state regs.They are a study in form over substance.Unfortunately, there seems to be little that the medical staff or the citizens can do to stop the train as it hurtles toward the cliff.Essent seems bent on repeating the same mistakes it and so many other hospital companies keep making./Namely treat the nursing staff like crapp and make sure that no member or group of the medical staff ever has enough power to influnce the direction the hospital takes.This attitude usually results in a "Crossroads situation"

Anonymous said...

"Virtual" is right! Especially the way they treat patients. It seems to be a "virtual" health care to patients attitude. I was recently a patient in the ER at PRMC. Now, I realize the "powers that be" who read this on a daily basis will recognize who I am. However, the things I am about to convey I have both a witness and in writing to back me up. I went to the ER on 1/14/06. I was caughing and having difficulty breathing. My normal temp. is 97.8 and my temp. that day was 99.2. Most anybody (medical staff or not) is aware that a low grade temp. is an indication of infection. I had been to my PCP the day before. He prescribed some antibiotics and ordered some lab tests. I went to check in as an out patient and realized I had forgotten my orders from the Dr. I was also very dehydrated and feeling much worse than the day before and having more difficulty breathing. So, I decided that I should be checked again by the Dr. in the ER. The nurse was extremely rude. She started off by telling me that I didn't need to be there & I should just go home and let the antibiotics that my PCP had given me work. I explained that I was getting worse and having a more difficult time breathing. Reluctantly she handed me a gown and instructed me to put it on. Well, the gown looked and smelled like someone had already worn it. I asked for another one and the nurse began to argue with me and insist the gown was clean! Really! Clean or not, it was a simple request by a patient and would have involved much less effort to have simply said "I'm sorry" and hand me another gown. There was a witness to this. They did an x-ray and UA and the Dr. told me that the UA was normal and there was a small spot on my lung but I just needed to go home and see my PCP on Monday. Now, I'm really convused at this point! I don't smoke, the x-ray indicated a spot on my lung, I'm having a difficult time breathing and a low grade temp. but, I "might" have a "slight" case of bronchitis! There were no other labs done to determine the nature of the obvious infection. That's why my PCP wanted the labs to be done in the first place to ensure that I was on the right antibiotics. Oh yes, I should also mention that I was very dehydrated. And, the ER doc couldn't see that! I went on my back home and went back to my PCP on Monday. He saw me and immediately sent me to the hospital (in Greenville). I spent 4 days & 3 nights there on resp. treatments and IV antibiotics as the oral ones were not strong enough to do the job. When the labs were done, besides the serious bronchitis and sinusitis I had 4 different strains of strep infection. I have a bill here from the hospital in excess of $10,000. I made a complaint to the director of nursing. Today, I received a letter from the patient relations coordinator and included the following remarks:
"1. The medical record showed a chest x-ray and urinalysis being completed. Both of these tests came back with normal results." Excuse me! Since when is a spot on a lung normal, especially for a non smoker?!!!
"2. The Emergency Department physician believed that you did have bronchitis but it was not severe enough to require hospitalization." Well, considering that I spent 4 days & 3 nights in another hosp. with resp. treatments and IV antibiotics he was obviously WRONG! What does this say about the quality of the staff that are still there?
"3. Sufficient antibiotic coverage was already being provided by the Cipro you were taking at the time." Hummmmmm! How would he know this if there were no blood test to determing the exact nature of the illness? AND, apparently it was NOT sufficient as evidenced by the stay and tests results for the other hospital.
"4. We do regret the unfortunate behaviour of our staff member and this is being addressed. Another gown should have been brought promptly to you." This is about as close to an admission of wrong doing as will ever come from this administration. The letter also states"If you would like, you may send us the medical records from your stay at Presbyterian Hospital in Greenville. They would be reviewed as well and become part of this investigation......" When h*** freezes over! They want to review MY medical records to somehow justify their incompitent behaviour!!!!!!!AND at MY expense. They did NOT offer to pay for the copies of the records and there was no indication they would offer to pay for the difference in what my insurance would pay by going to an institution other than Essent. Oh yes, I WAS an employee at the time. Which, FYI, I was granted non-FMLA leave (I have that in writing also) and then written up for being off work while I was in the hospital and under the physicians care! Yes, apparently, they believe that "virtual" patient care is also equal to the real thing!

Anonymous said...

So much for the hospital that was done using agency people. They couldn't keep it open without them! or at least all the floors...whoops, they can't with them, either!!!!!!!!!!