It’s funny how hospital operations change when the Medical Marijuana Advocates come by for an inspection.
Reminds me of our family getting ready to have holiday guests.
Secret phone calls go out to everyone. High alert. High alert.
Half-filled coffee mugs sitting on the counter mysteriously disappear.
Charge nurses run ahead of the group with a bunch of keys making sure every bit of medicine in the hospital is on lockdown.
Things that don’t have a place to go get thrown into a closet, the closet gets locked, and a sign gets put up saying “Bathroom – Out of Order.”
All the “procedure” books are prominently displayed.
Everyone acts busy.
Then a little group of people with suits, bright white lab coats and clipboards comes trotting through the ED. One of the hospital administrators is walking behind them frantically motioning to the ED tech to take the patient chart off the counter and put it behind the desk.
Included within the group are several clipboard nurses and a few other unidentified surveyors.
The clipboard doc is the best. He’s about 70 years old and is a retired dermatologist. He looks kinda lost. He just walks around listening to people tell him what to do.
Out of all the safety measures in the hospital that they had to survey, we got dinged because one of the charts had an “unapproved abbreviation” and because there was a lidocaine bottle that wasn’t locked up after we got done sewing up a laceration. But Clipboard Doc, not to be outdone, dinged us because … we had holiday stickers up on the windows of the trauma rooms.
After all, those holiday stickers “have static electricity and could cause a fire.” In addition, they’re probably “teeming with bacteria and could be a source of infection.” These are the only words that came out of Clipboard Doc’s mouth. Forget the fact that the only thing near the “static electricity” in the holiday stickers is glass and an aluminum door frame. Now the heat generated in a static electricity spark is probably less than the melting point of glass (about 573 degrees Celsius) and the melting point of an aluminum door frame (about 660 degrees Celsius), but maybe someone will walk by the door, pass gas, and the gas will loft up, cause the holiday sticker to curl up and pull away from the door, releasing a spark of static electricity that ignites the methane gas and causes an explosion.
Hey – it could happen.
The infectious disease point is well-taken, too. I can’t think of how many times I’ve walked into a room and just had the urge to rub my hands all over the holiday stickers on the windows before touching a patient’s open wounds.
Then I thought of another point: The doors to the trauma bays are made of glass. Nearsighted retired septagenarian physicians might not see the glass and might walk into the doors, banging their heads and causing a subdural hematoma. Worse yet, the impact from the head bang could cause the doors to shatter and a piece of glass could fall off the frame, lodge between a patient’s ribs, and cause a sucking chest wound.
Damn. Not only did we have to get rid of the holiday stickers, now we’re going to need to replace these doors with plexiglass.
This little charade makes me wonder if these surveyors cite hospitals for silly random “violations” as a joke – just to see everyone run around and fix them. Doubt it, but I have to admit that it would be kind of funny if that really were the case.
By the way, someone sent me a picture of the JCAHO “Mother Ship” and figured that I would post it so everyone sees how little money is earned by creating reams of safety standards every year.
Look ma – no holiday stickers in the windows, either.