Day#324: My recent hospital experience

Day#324: My recent hospital experience

Good morning Uxers today I want to talk about something a little more personal, I very recently had a health issue and had to visit the hospital in an emergency. It was a horrible drive there and I was slightly delirious, waiting to arrive impatiently as my husband drove us there. When we arrived we walked in unsure of which section. There was an entry desk, but I had to stand which was painful, seeing as I was in pain I was surprised that nobody arrived with a wheelchair, to note I was only offered one after being in the hospital for a while and having to go from one department to another. When I was being helped the nurse asked me how I was which felt annoying and frustrating given that she could see I was in pain. They also do a 1 – 10 scale of pain, it’s a subjective assumption given by the patient. Funny enough when I gave my number she indicated that it looked like I was in more pain than I had numbered it at. 

The actual service once in the emergency room was also lacking. The Doctor was not clear, and when eventually we were allowed to go I didn’t even know and we were just waiting for a while, unsure of what would happen next. This is one experience but I have known another family member who has also had a bad experience in a hospital. I really hope the service design of hospitals will be taken under more consideration, it would be interesting to know how they have ventured into making the changes they have already. In some hospitals I see signage all along the corridors and people standing at big walkways helping patients and families alike like hosts. I think the actual doctors are not having their experience tested though, the issue is probably deeper though. Doctors feel they know what they are doing, and it would be difficult for them to allow for assessments of that nature, having patients asked afterwards if they felt comfortable and heard during their time with the doctor is important and I don’t think I felt like the Doctor that helped me was addressing those main concerns. The other side of the coin would be that perhaps yes doctors are patients at times, but do they know and practise these things that patients value in a good doctor. 

The reason why I don’t think this gets tested enough is that often doctors are not chosen on their experience.. Really think they should be, generally when I am looking for a specialist I ask on social media groups for great doctors, but when in an emergency you just find the nearest hospital that can help you. This is not to say that the experience should be any less since it is an emergency but I think the industry then feels like people need them and does not put as much effort as they need to into their experience. Thinking about my experience in banking and in the fintech space, I wonder if the ticketing system could work in hospitals, perhaps not because hospitals have such far away departments to go and you may need to book in advance to see certain doctors. A Brainstorm session is 100% required though, and it feels like some solutions are not even involving the staff on the ground. I would obviously love to see doctors having a sort of grading system and also a way to book appointments and keep track of them. With the Interaction Design Foundation I get to have my course information and next lessons coming up live on my calendar, really think the medical field needs to come to the party on this. The sad part is when I call doctors and ask them about the method in which I can keep track of the appointment, the person on the other side of the line, most probably the receptionist always says well it is your responsibility to make our appointments and we do a cancellation fee etc.

The cancellation fee is just a way to scare people, another way the medical industry is using the public’s lack of knowledge as a way to sponge them for their money. It always sounds condescending and to me I see no reason why doctors can’t have a method which allows for them to notify patients of their results and that they should set up a new appointment or that their first appointment with doctor x is in two days. This relationship is such an expensive one, and patients are really not getting what they want with a lot of doctors in South Africa, the average South African then feels a lack of control and does not take action when they have the right to. I am really interested to start traveling in 2020 and seeing how other countries treat their patients in the medical context. As you know I am in fintech so also interested to see that exosystem as well. I always end up saving most of my money, and spending some of it on online courses and education in general though, so let’s see if I can finally put together an international trip at some point. Happy researching until next Uxers. 

Bye for now

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