Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Really really sick? Good luck


According to a story by Ken Alltucker, AZ Republic, July 3, 2011, a huge hospital chain here in Phoenix uses ICU docs in Tel Aviv. Not just to read x-rays or scans, but to manage the entire case.

Look Ma, no doc here!

My sister was in the ICU—I sort of assumed her doctor was, too. He was—then he stopped coming to the hospital…And now, no doctor may come to the ICU, just nurses and aides carrying out the instructions of distant physicians.

Telemedicine is not new, of course, and the so-called hospital specialist doctors, called hospitalists, seem remote at times, but this is new to me.

The hosps say there is a shortage of critical care specialists, what can they do.

They try to say you can see the doctor (on a screen) and this is even BETTER than waiting for one to come in the room.

They say they can show this has saved lives.

Brave New World—and I am not brave.

I guess if you are sick enough to need the ICU, you will gratefully take whatever you can get.

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