Patient Story On Post Treatment Care Importance- Poor Communication Within Teams And With Patients ( 2019)
History And Diagnosis
Female, Age 60, Economically Well Off, Socially Active And Educated.
Healthy And Active, No Particular Family History Of Cancer. Diagnosed With Early Stages Of Breast Cancer.
Choice Of Doctor And Hospital
Highly Recommended Doctor, High Brand Image, And Hospital Referred By Doctor, Proximity Was Also A Reason Treatment-Surgery Followed By Radiation.. The Senior Doctors Had Given Detailed Instructions About Oozing Of Fluid In Affected Area And Had Cautioned Not To Remove Bag Before A Certain Level Of Drying Up Of The Wound.
The Wound Continued To Ooze, But The Junior Doctors And Nurses Ignore This And Hurried In Removing Collection Bag . This Led To Collection Of Fluid and Pus, Followed By Infection . Pain Killers And Antibiotics Followed . Every Time Patient Tried To Approach The Senior Doctors, She Had To Wait For Long Hours In Crowded Opd Chambers In Spite Of Prior Appointment, And Still Could Not Meet The Doctor Directly.
The Long Waiting Hours Led To Urinary Infection.
The Long Drawn Out Trauma And Infection led To Herpes and It Took Over A Year To Recover, Instead Of A Few Months As Earlier Advised.
- Mis Communication Within Teams. Transitions Of Care Not Backed With Full Or Proper Communication.
- Surgery Took 5 Hours Instead Of 1.5 Hours As Informed To The Patient, This Made The Family Worried
- No Time Available With Senior Doctors After Surgery
- Senior Doctors Try To Cover Up Errors Of Their Team
- No Honest Communication Between Doctor And Patient-Since No One Listens, Patient Ended Up Downplaying Symptoms, For Fear Of Embarrassment And Fears Of Upsetting Senior Doctor
- No Discussion When Treatment Was Completed- After Final Chemo, There Was No Clear Talk With Patient Explaining What To Look Out For Or That It Was Now Over.
Learnings And Suggestions
- Create Patient Support Groups With Similar Experiences Who Can Share Insights And Help To Guide Other Patients
- Communicate Honestly With Patient , Inform Regarding Treatment Options, And Side Effects That Can Occur.
- Follow Appointment Timings More Strictly .
- Doctors Behaviour And Demeanour Matter A Lot
- A One Point Contact Number Or Person Is Important , Create A Patient Coordinator For Connection Between Doctor And Patient.