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Disgruntled worker

I have a good job.  Decent pay, good schedule, and I get to help people.  Why did I travel to another state for a job interview?  The biggest reason is professional dissatisfaction.  I work for ‘The Man’.  Which is to say I am an employee of a large health system.  I am a cog in a massive health care company.  I feel more like a screw than a cog though.  Goals, deadlines, and required participation are sent down to us from administrative leadership.  Thou shall see this many patients in a year or your pay will be deducted.  Thou shall achieve high scores on patient satisfaction survey.  Thou shall attend meetings where you will be taught to be a more compassionate doctor.  As a person who spent 8 years in school, 4 years of residency training, and accumulated $200,000 in debt from schooling, I find being treated in such ways demeaning, and insulting.  My co-workers and I find being sent to learn to be more compassionate and empathetic degrading.  We have trained for years to take care of people.  Being told by a trainer who has not taken care of real patients to sit down, lean in, nod our heads while listening to a patient talk is maddening.  I’d like to say my company truly cares what patients thinks about our service, but instead it’s all about money.  Let me explain.  Part of the Affordable Care Act stipulates that health care organizations, hospitals, and doctors need to be held more accountable for the care they provide.  So Medicare payments will be linked to patient satisfaction results obtained through surveys.  I agree that patient satisfaction is important but why the sudden interest now when previous years the company had focused on decreasing length of stay (average number of days a patient is hospitalized), increasing case mix index (doing more expensive procedures, having sicker patients), and improving payer mix.  I find it hypocritical that the company is using patient satisfaction as a guise when their real motivation is improving reimbursements from Medicare.  It’s about improving the bottom line.  So I’ll trudge to training, and learn to listen more attentively so that maybe patients will give me good marks on the after hospitalization survey.  Quietly though, I’ll work to provide good care for my patients, survey or no survey.

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Categories: Medical

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