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    Adding accountability to the practice vocabulary

     

    The doctors were angry, two patients had left, and the technicians were either in tears or were threatening to move to another country to start an early retirement counting coconuts dropping on the beach in a given day.

    When the lead of the clinic called me to tell me this was occurring, I tried to get her to give me a report of what was occurring. 

    You may be thinking that we should have stepped back and gridded out where we were failing and how these actions had occurred, but in the middle of the crisis, you have to stop the bleeding so the patient doesn’t die. And we were hemorrhaging to death.

    What really angered me was that the problems we were having were man-made, or I should say, woman-made. We did this to ourselves and, that day, it all came to a head.

    For more than a month, I had been popping into clinics throughout the system to see how the flow was. Doctors had told me that the technician flow was off, and while there weren’t any patients in the pile to be worked up, there weren’t any patients in their chairs being seen by them either! And then at 10:45 a.m., there were seven patients glaring at them from the waiting room because they had been there two hours!

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