Monday, November 4, 2013

Editorial. Interpreting Physicians Should Do A Better Job

Number one, I hate writing on a laptop.  The keys are small, and my fingers are big and bony.  Number two, I hate writing an editorial when I have not had coffee.  I hate editing my own words on a laptop.  Please forgive me my gentle readers.  What I am going to write is horror.  Do not eat before you read the following.

A patient presented to me for an echo, CIMT, Triple A screening, and a carotid U/S.  His symptoms included DM, and HTN, and mild obesity.  Typical patient.  He did not speak English, his grand daughter did so, and we go a few tidbits of information.  He said he had no problems.  I was there to screen him for underlying issues.  Usually i find no medical issues when I do these screenings. I noted this very kind gentlemen of Hispanic origin to be short of breath.  I applaud the physician for referring him for medical testing in the non-invasive manner.  I did the CIMT testing which was positive for PAD.  Bring in the cellos and tubas for the remarkable test. (Que the Orchestra).

I performed a standard TTE (Transthoracic echocardiogram) and found a 5.2 by 6.0 cm ascending aortic aneurysm.  I left the examination room to phone the doctor.  We spent the next 30 minutes getting the family to take him to a great hospital next door.  From what i have heard, this patient is doing well.  He went to surgery on MY CALL!  This should not happen!

Here is the horror:  Our interpreter has failed to provide a final interpretation of the echocardiogram.  His failure to provide a timely interpretation is unacceptable.  After many E-Mails, and phone calls, he has been unresponsive.  This should not happen.  I am a sonographer, not a physician.  And I am pissed off that this has happened.  The final report was posted at 13:36:45  Interesting.  He got the message while eating some very spicy food we think. No substantive evidence of course. Most pajama radiologists/cardiologists care less about the patients images they view.  They wake up and boot the computer and do thier thing, then go to bed.  I wish I could share the details.  Federal laws will not allow that. isn't that a shout!  Patient in surgery and out without a physicians interp?  How many of you sonographers deal with this?  Mark of Honor? or another lump to put in our backpacks as health care providers?  Really!  TJW

Comments are welcome.


Post a Comment