Friday, January 20, 2012

EPIC FAIL

I have been stewing on something for quite awhile.  About a month and a half back I emailed LL's pediatrician about a cold that had gone on for three weeks.  I told her the symptoms, what we were doing, and asked whether I should bring her in or if this was normal for her age group or the time of year.  Me being the a first time Earthly Mommy, I had no idea.  This was on a Sunday.\

By Thursday, I had had no response, and this insurance company prides itself on 24 hour turn around on emails. Now, keep in mind, I do not blow up this doctor's email or phone at every sniffle.  I treat my daughter as I was raised, try to treat conditions at home and if they get worse than you can handle and/or the symptoms are something you can't explain, then call the doctor.  So, I emailed her again, copying the email I had sent her and explaining that I was unsure if she received my first email.  No response.

Sunday came along again and I called the nurse line and told them what was going on.  I repeated what I had emailed the doctor and also notified them that the pediatrician never got back with me.  After an assessment of my child's current condition, they told me I should bring her to urgent care ($40 copay).  Once there, the pediatrician I saw (different one) said he saw my two emails in the system and he saw that they were not responded to and that was highly unusual.  He also said that LL's primary pediatrician was working on the day after both emails were sent so there was no excuse why the emails weren't received OR answered.  He went onto say that usually the nursing staff backs doctors up by checking that every phone message and email has been opened and responded to.

That being the case, my daughter was diagnosed with Bronchialitis, a condition, if left untreated, can lead to RSV, which lands babies in the hospital, the LAST place I would ever want my child to be.  She was given some sort of medicine and a nebulizer to be administered twice a day.  The whole breathing treatment sent me in a tailspin, if the condition was bad enough to treat with asthma meds, shouldn't my email have been answered?!?!?!?

So I filed a complaint, not necessarily against the doctor, mainly against the neglect.  If her staff was supposed to follow up behind her and her staff is a representation of her, then the whole process failed and she needs to take responsibility for it.  The nurse on the line said I SHOULD have brought her in if the cold lasted for more that 10 days, "didn't you know that?", NO because this is my first living child, but I simply replied that I didn't know but I would have that knowledge in the future.

Flash forward a week when her supervisor calls me to inquire about my complaint.  She indicates that the unanswered emails were the result of a glitch in the system....REALLLY!?!?!?!?  I would understand ONE email getting lost due to a glitch, but TWO?!?!?!?!  If both of the emails went unnoticed due to "glitches" then why did the pediatrician I saw at urgent care see them as unanswered in the system???????

She went onto say that I should have called the nurse line.  REALLY?!?!?  I didn't want to do that, I wanted to hear from my child's doctor!!  That still does not negate the fact that my communication with her was ignored.  Plus, when you call the nurse line, you tell them the symptoms, what your doing, and they tell you  that you're doing everything you are supposed to be doing, then they tell you what you should be doing, which is in fact, everything you just told them you were doing.  THEN THEY MAKE YOU REPEAT TO THEM WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING!!!!!  I AM NOT 3!!!!!!!!!!

She told me that she talked to the pediatrician in question and she relayed that she LOVED seeing Lorelei and would love to continue to take care of her.  I DON'T THINK SO!!!!!!  She said I could call her anytime with questions or concerns, I rolled my eyes, annoyed at the brush off.  She said she never wanted this to happen again and was making an inquiry into the situation.

Yeah, I was brushed off, she thought she put out a fire.  I can smell, see, and hear bullshit when it's present!  She was like crowd control, I have known higher ups in my profession that do the same thin.  I am NOT stupid!!!!  The only glitch in the system was the system itself!!  So, I canceled LL's 6 month check-up with her primary pediatrician and scheduled another one with a different pediatrician.  If I can't trust that ANY of my communication with the doctor will be answered, why should I stay with her???

About a week later, I emailed the pediatrician I saw about LL's progress and my "primary" pediatrician, the one who blew me off answered.  Also, when I called to see how long Lorelei had to be on the steroid infused nebulizer, SHE was consulted.  I did NOT want to hear from HER!  She had already failed me!  I wanted to hear from the doctor who ACTUALLY took care of my daughter, not the one who didn't respond, leading my child through ANOTHER week of sickness, when, if she would've responded, could have been avoided.

Needless to say, there was no email or call of apology for the "oversight" so my respect for said pediatrician is lost and we have since switched pediatricians.  I have NEVER pulled the "I lost a child" card with her pediatrician. yes with my OBGYN because I needed them to know my level of anxiety and stress.  I expect them to treat my child with the same urgency that they treat any other child that walks into that office.

I am disgusted with this pediatrician's supervisor trying to cover BOTH of their asses!!  I entrust them with the care of my child and because she is my only living child, I SHOULD know the ins and outs of infancy, BUT I DON'T!!!  They know this due to the history that has been recorded in my medical history and in their so called "system".

This situation has made me as vigilant as ever.  I have had to fight to be an advocate of my own healthcare and I will fight even HARDER for my child's!!

Luckily, LL has been in good health ever since, but this could have erupted into RSV or Pneumonia if I had not taken action. I am angry that her supervisor put blame on ME because I did not call the advice line that would treat me like a 3 year old rather than acknowledge what I was doing and inform me of the next step.  I was furious of the lack of responsibility of both the supervisor and the pediatrician and her staff.

I continue to implore ALL parents to stand up for the rights and health of their children.  I didn't with my first, I trusted that I was being told the truth and now he flies high with the angels, he would have anyway, but had we the knowledge he would have been there A LOT sooner instead of suffering. Experience has taught me to ALWAYS question when it comes to the medical field. It's a shame we have to question at all, "First, do no harm"

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