Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Best Defense....

The Talker got a patient complaint, and since I was working that night I was interrogated about my culpability asked what I remembered about it.

The complaint went something like this:
The doctor said he thought I was addicted or selling the drugs since I have had a few ER visits recently. He made me feel bad. He wouldn't give me any drugs and it was a waste of my time.

Oh, yeah. I remember alright.
The patient wanted Vicodin for her complaint and said her doctor had sent her over. She had just been seen in our Downtown facility the night before for a different pain related complaint, where Parvati (being relatively new) had given her the ol' IV fluid and IV med routine that we have come to expect of her for every patient with a chronic pain complaint. She has been notified that we don't routinely do this on every patient, much to her surprise. Anyway, the patient refused a CT scan and left the department before her care was completed.

The Talker got the patient's covering physician on the phone, who was well aware of this patient. He told The Talker that the patient had a long history going from ER to ER, abusing narcotics, had a pain contract, and that she wasn't to receive any prescriptions for narcotics.

The Talker spent at least 25 minutes with this patient discussing harmful behaviors but never said anything about the patient selling drugs; it is not part of his "Narcotic Avoidance" speech, so I can' only imagine where she got that.

My boss was a little bit at a loss for how to handle it.

I suggested that she just call the patient and tell her everyone involved with her care has been fired; it has at least as much truth as her complaint.