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Early in April I had a heart attack. My cardiologist sent me for chemical stress test. It was anticipated I would be home from NWH in three hours.
I was receiving a chemical stress test at Newton Wellesley Hospital out patient when the cardiologist stopped the test and transferred me to MGH.

I was admitted MGH over a weekend. Friday May 22 2016 Discharged Wednesday May 27 2016
I was Inpatient at MGH Main Campus

They did a Coronary Arteriogram and Placed Stent

My wife is cared for at home. Dorothy has Alzheimer's she can not be alone and requires 24x7 medical care givers. She receives Care Giver services from 10AM until 11PM. I provide her caregiving from 11PM until 10AM.
I immediately asked for help from someone at MGH.
Someone needed to immediate contact our agencies and get overnight care.

I was abandoned No help available. It was the weekend and hospital services were closed. I was told by a nurse they didn't make calls; I could make the calls myself. What was I to do Dorothy can not be alone. We have no family in the area.

Between the stress of not having the hospital open for testing and being stuck over the weekend I was in no shape to call agencies.

At other hospitals the case-manger or social worker made calls and helped out then followed up with me.

Fortunately Dot's caregiver on Friday afternoon knew there was a problem and called for added help.

What would have you done in this situation?

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{Q} Dave, I think you have a source for help now - the hospital clergy.
She would have been a terrific help the day I was admitted. Never occurred to me

{Q} And having had nurses in the family,
{GRIN} Been married to a RN for 54 years.

I built a very successful and important knowledge form for the commercial printing industry
When the C and E level had issues, they went immediately to staff responsible for addressing them. When I retired I had 66000 members from CEO's presidents all level of staff. One of the keys was the person being on a PC during the day.

{Q} Now the hospital we go to has a post discharge coordinator, who after my hospitalization called not only as a follow-up but to address any issues that might have arisen.

MGH called with a question survey with the typical rate 1 to five type replies. Other hospitals had real people call.

{Q} Personally I don't think blogging or sharing online is that much help Medical professionals have their own journals which are far more sophisticated and specific. I've read the monthly publications my sister got and they're well beyond the level of non-medical suggestions.

Occasionally a Internet contact will ask: Who are you? Good question:) and Why do I choose to join groups. I frequently collect information from professional Internet sources, and consolidate it on Mainzone Knowledge Network. My interest in education is beholden to Moby Dick the story of Ishmael as observer and commentator is a "narrative of education. Groups are a rich source for self education.

I'm a firm believer in self education, up-skilling. My mission is to do something, discuss something, learn something new everyday, and enjoy building model boats and ship models.

To quote {grin} James Stevenson "I know so much that I don't know where to begin." - {New Yorker Cartoon }

{Q} Something you might consider about the file for Dorothy is to prepare a list of meds for yourself

My FOL is a mirror image for myself {it is a clone }

{Q} It's on a card which Dad carries with him all the time, and can just pull out of his shirt pocket and show to an emergency responder if I'm not there.

TERRIFIC RECOMMENDATION !!!! I will create a card and carry it in my wallet with med insurance cards

{Q}medical professionals frequently ask the same questions,

So true ar every stage.
When I have my folder they just copy pages of the medical summary information e.

I this instance I went to NWH for three hour test expecting to return home and I had my medical summary which got misplaced in the transfer to MGH
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Dave, I think you have a source for help now - the hospital clergy.

When I've had problems in the past, I've gone directly to the hospital ombudsperson or to the hospital administrator. Now the hospital we go to has a post discharge coordinator, who after my hospitalization called not only as a follow-up but to address any issues that might have arisen.

Personally I don't think blogging or sharing online is that much help Medical professionals have their own journals which are far more sophisticated and specific. I've read the monthly publications my sister got and they're well beyond the level of nonmedical suggestions. That's not to dismiss the observations of anyone here, but they speak on a medical pro to medical pro level.

And having had nurses in the family, I know that they were far too busy after 12 hour shifts to post to on-line blogs. When there were issues, they went immediately to staff responsible for addressing them. That's how they got remedial action.

Something you might consider about the file for Dorothy is to prepare a list of meds for yourself (I've done that for Dad for years), with information as well on pacemaker data, primary and secondary emergency contacts for both our family and Dad's friends.

It's on a card which Dad carries with him all the time, and can just pull out of his shirt pocket and show to an emergency responder if I'm not there.

If you had a similar card, you could add information about Dorothy, perhaps right at the very top so it couldn't be missed. I've found that despite lots of information, medical professionals frequently ask the same questions, but I've also found that they'll ask to just copy pages of the medical summary information I carry with me.

So try integrating information on emergency treatment for Dorothy into whatever you carry with info for yourself.
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{On weekends things move at a slower pace in a hospital as some departments are closed and certain tests are only run on patients who arrive via ER, and then that is done on a triage basis. On weekends things move at a slower pace in a hospital as some departments are closed and certain tests are only run on patients who arrive via ER, and then that is done on a triage basis. On weekends things move at a slower pace in a hospital as some departments are closed and certain tests are only run on patients who arrive via ER, and then that is done on a triage basis. }

So very true. Sad commentary on 21st heath care, IMCO.
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here is a redacted copy of the File of life on refrigerator

emergency information for responders
April 09, 2016
**TAKE INFORMATION TO HOSPITAL**

Dorothy cccccccccccccccc
Our phone number nnnnnnn | Street address is nnnnnn Framingham MA

non emergency our preferred Hospital: Have EMT/Ambulance take to:
Newton Wesley Hosp. Newton, MA 617 243 6000

In a time critical EMERGENCY START AT
Local hospital: MetroWest Medical , Framingham Union Hospital, 508 383 1000
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Dave, I couldn't imagine what you were going through, knowing your wife might be home by herself. On weekends things move at a slower pace in a hospital as some departments are closed and certain tests are only run on patients who arrive via ER, and then that is done on a triage basis.

Hopefully there won't be a next time that you are left without someone helping you at the hospital sometimes you can dial 0 on the hospital phones which will take you to the switchboard and you can ask for the "patient advocate's" number or pager/cell.... that is if you can reach for the phone. If that doesn't work, ask any staff member who comes into your room.

Be glad your wife's caregiver was a take charge person, knowing someone had to be home for the next phase of your wife's care. I use HomeInstead and had some last minute calls to get extra caregivers and they quickly filled the open time. Sometimes it might be a person for an hour or two who waits for the next caregiver to fill the rest of the shift. My parent's even had office staff stepping in to help.
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I like Veronica's idea.

I'm so glad the agency stepped up.
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Cwillie so sorry both for the MI and the stress of leaving Dorothy. In future if there is absolutely no help call 911 and have her transported to the ER, they can't send her back to an empty house so they will find a place for her to be cared for. good luck with your recovery
Make your complaint directly to the Chief Medical Officer and/or the Board of Directors.
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There must be some kind of complaints mechanism in place at the hospital, I would make sure to file a written summary of what happened to you, perhaps copies should also be sent to any relevant hospital administrators and staff. They need to be made aware that this is a serious issue that they have failed to take into consideration, hopefully they can implement a plan for the future.
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{I guarantee you that there are social workers on duty during weekends.}I asked the nurses repeatedly.I WILL be in touch with the MGH patient advocacy department. Every hospital has a "patient friendly" program. Years ago a patient advocate suggested I set up a knoweldge bog to encourage medial organizations to talk to each other. it is on LinkedIn "Patient Friendly Health Care. Talk about, debate, define: what it is to be patient friendly" Patient Friendly Health Care share YOUR input to { user centered design }services.Talk about and debate your own organization's guidelines and the needs of people who are strangers to Health Care Providers (i.e.Physicians, Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Rehab, and Other Care Services). Help develop patient focused policies and provider practices. Patients and visitors who are strangers to Nursing Homes hospitals, emergency departments, emergency rooms and the mind boggling array of titles not to mention inpatient and outpatient organization.
Design responses and guidelines to manage patient confusion, fear, cognitive issues and inform clients of what to expect.When I getting ready to leave the Chaplin came to see me. She said she had been told I needed to talk to someone.
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{I think i would also carry a copy of that folder information with me.}

I do. I had a copy with me at Newton Wellesley Hospital. It was the in the clothing bag with my belongings that went with the ambulance to MGH. It had been folded up and mixed with the clothing. It wasn't found until I was getting dressed to go home.

Would not have done any good if no one would make the needed phone cals.
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I think i would also carry a copy of that folder information with me.
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I would be in touch with the MGH patient advocacy department. I guarantee you that there are social workers on duty during weekends.
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{Q} If you make arrangements ahead of time, and everything is set up, then a phone call to the agency should be able to provide overnight care, ......
{Q}facilities that could accommodate Dorothy for a few days.
{Q} any neighbors who could step in just to help with the arrangements
{Q}I'm a bit confused about one aspect though - you mentioned the stress of "not having the hospital open for testing" - did that hospital only provide testing on weekdays, or on another limited schedule? Was this a small hospital?
{Q}As Pam commented, I'm also surprised there was no social worker to help. I can't help thinking this is a small hospital with limited staff and limited support for patients.
{Q}Are there more accommodating hospitals that you could go to if (but hopefully not) a similar situation occurs in the future?

{Was this a small hospital?} NOOO it is HUGE
Massachusetts General Hospital (Mass General or MGH) is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and a biomedical research facility located in the West End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It is the third oldest general hospital in the United States and the oldest and largest hospital in New England with 950 beds. Massachusetts General Hospital conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the world, with an annual research budget of more than $750 million. It is currently ranked as the #1

I am a planing nut. There are expansive plans in place and they are summarized in a folder on the refrigerator at home.
The problem was not having someone at MGH to call the agency to set the plans in action. Years ago I had set up a autopay engagement with HomeInstead and they have provided around the clock care in past emergencies when I was unexpectedly hospitalized.

Had the transfer taken place from home the EMS would have read the FOL and implimented the plans. I was sent by ambulance from Newton Wellesley Hospital to MGH.
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I just learned yesterday the caregiver who was on duty with Dot that Friday recognized that more help was needed and had called the agencies.
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You need to have a plan in place should this ever happen again. First I would talk to the care agency to give them instructions on what to arrange if you are not around. Carry a card in your wallet in case something happens to you so someone is aware that your wife needa help!
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What an unsettling and frustrating experience to go through - literally trapped in a hospital, no support from the staff for your wife at home alone, and I'm sure high levels of anxiety.

I think I would speak with the agency that provides the caregivers for the day and ask what arrangements could be made on a short term basis if a similar situation occurs. If you make arrangements ahead of time, and everything is set up, then a phone call to the agency should be able to provide overnight care, assuming they have someone available.

Another alternative when you get home is to research respite facilities that could accommodate Dorothy for a few days. I honestly don't know what these facilities would be called, and whether or not memory care or similar facilities have options for a few days' stay. But it's something worth consideration.

I would also research transportation in the area in the event Dorothy needed to be taken to the facility.

In addition, I'm wondering if there are any neighbors who could step in just to help with the arrangements - calling the facility, transportation, helping Dorothy pack, etc. If you made only one phone call, say to a trusted neighbor, that neighbor could put in motion the arrangements to get care for Dorothy. She could be authorized and the care agency advised that she has the authority to ask for overnight help.

I'm a bit confused about one aspect though - you mentioned the stress of "not having the hospital open for testing" - did that hospital only provide testing on weekdays, or on another limited schedule? Was this a small hospital?

As Pam commented, I'm also surprised there was no social worker to help. I can't help thinking this is a small hospital with limited staff and limited support for patients. Are there more accommodating hospitals that you could go to if (but hopefully not) a similar situation occurs in the future?
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Just what you did, you had no choice. I am so glad her caregiver stepped up to help! I can not belive (yes I can ) that there was no social worker available to help. this is crap! I do not know about either of these hospitals, but they need to be held accountable! Good luck to you and Dot.. hope you feel better soon
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