Long story short (full story behind the cut): After a nightmarish two day stay at Heart of Florida in Haines City, we ended up firing Dad's primary care doc and vowing never to set foot there again.
Took Dad to the ER at his regular hospital (Heart of Florida in Haines City) about 3:30 am Monday morning. He was having chest pains. Wasn't busy, so we got in within an hour. They ran an EKG and a cardiac enzyme test, which came back normal. His electrolytes were a little screwed up, so they did an IV magnesium infusion. Then they left us sitting in the treatment room....until we finally tracked down a nurse after 7:30 change of shift. She told us he was being admitted for 24 hour observation. His regular doctor stopped by for two minutes and said she was turning him over to a cardiologist.
Finally got a room a few hours later, thankfully with an awesome roommate with a large ever-present family. Kept us entertained. Everything else about the stay? Completely sucked. Dad was on a portable heart monitor, and they ran cardiac enzyme tests every 8 hours. Beyond that? Absolutely nothing. Kept being promised that a cardiologist would come that day. Nope, no such luck. Asked why he couldn't go home (7 miles away) and follow up with the cardiologist on an outpatient basis. Nope, no such luck. And no leaving the floor. Couldn't wander the hospital, couldn't go outside, couldn't do anything but walk the tiny circle down the hall, through the waiting room, and down an unused hall.
So Monday passed with absolutely no information, no doctor, no anything. By that night, Dad was having nick fits, bored out of his skull and highly annoyed. Finally got the nurse to page the doctor about letting him go home (at this point the 24 hour observation period was over). The doc that was taking her calls wouldn't let him go.
Tuesday morning arrives. I've been sitting at his bedside with no sleep since the middle of the night Sun/Mon. Didn't want to leave, since last time he was in that hospital they screwed up and tried to wheel him off to open chest lung surgery while he was in the middle of an entirely different procedure and had flatly refused the surgery multiple times. I don't trust them at all.
Cardiologist comes in at 6:30 am. He says the tests have been fine, he's clearing Dad for discharge, call him next week to set up a full workup. We ask him about Vegas (we fly on Friday), he says don't fly till he's had the workup just in case. Then proceeds to mull it over and tells Dad to come in the next day (today) to do the workup. We can get prelim results tomorrow and a decision about flying. I'm liking the cardiologist, he's actually patient friendly.
So...cleared for discharge. We can go home, right? Nope, no such luck. The admitting doctor (his primary care doc) has to write the discharge order. She'll stop by when making her rounds. Rounds are always between 8-9 am. We sit there...and sit there...and sit there. At 10 am, it occurs to us that we don't know if primary doc knows he's been cleared for discharge. We call her office and leave a message. No callback, no doc. Meanwhile, Dad's about to walk a rut into the floor doing circles. Can he wander the hospital now? Nope. Go outside? Nope. Leave the floor at all? Nope. Meanwhile, techs that apparently didn't get the discharge memo keep showing up to do everything from vitals to ECG.
At 12:30, six hours after the cardio left, we both go off on the nursing director. Turns out nobody's bothered to page the primary care doc. Don't know if she got the message we left or not. Nurse pages the doc. Doc says she'll be there within half an hour. Nearly an hour later she walks in...and immediately goes to another patient's room, where she spends almost another hour. Everyone's looking for her to sign the discharge order by this point...nurses, techs, other docs on the floor. She slips out the back door. In perfect unison, about 20 voices shout "Did she sign the discharge order??"
Somebody grabs the chart. She has indeed signed the order, and run out within talking to us at all. It's clear. We want nothing more to do with her, and she wants nothing more to do with us. Nurse has already filled out discharge paperwork, Dad gets dressed in record time. "Do you want to wait for transport?" "Heh...watch my tracks." We take off as fast as possible.
Meanwhile, we talked to Dad's hospital roommate and his entourage about other hospitals. They had wonderful things to say about Celebration. So we decided to check it out today. The place is the freaking Ritz-Carlton of hospitals!!!!
Gorgeous building outside and in. Light, earthy colors. Comfortable furniture. Fish tanks and sculptures and courtyards and beautiful artwork. Enormous on-site pharmacy that takes Dad's insurance. Huge gift shop that sells everything from candy and flowers to fine jewelry and fancy bath stuff, at much better prices than you would expect. Specialists in everything you can imagine with offices right there in the hospital. An entire Spine Center on-site. A huge clinical research center. Diabetes management classes and support groups. Dental center that also takes the insurance. A Fitness Center and Spa with super low monthly rates that actually include all classes, and if he's referred for physical therapy they'll waive the enrollment fee. Two indoor heated pools, one with jets. Saunas, steam rooms, basketball court. In-room spa services are available for $20 an hour. The imaging center has a beach theme with "sand castle" MRI machines and the barium drink served in a martini glass. Your choice of music or videos during the procedure. The cafeteria's primarily vegetarian focused, and the food is average (we ate there), but that's average for restaurant quality, WAY above "hospital food." Not quite as good as Tulane, but sooo much better than any other hospital.
The patient rooms? ALL PRIVATE. With a fully reclining chair and a comfortable sleeper sofa. Overnight guests are encouraged, and taken care of. There's an internet computer/gaming machine/research portal with access to a huge patient information center as well as full internet AT the bed. There's a system for each patient to set up a web page to share info/photos with friends and family. Huge flat screen TV. Tons of closet space. The room's at least as large as our RV. All of the rooms are identical on all floors. There's even internet computers and printers in the ER, which has an awesome triage system. Everything's computerized. Docs/nurses/techs can pull up the full chart on the bedside computer. Patients are encouraged to freely wander the hospital and grounds, and are given beepers to let them know when they are needed in the room.
Now, would you believe that between Medicare and Dad's federal employee insurance, he doesn't pay a dime for any of it (except the Fitness Center membership, with a waived enrollment fee if he comes through physical therapy referral). Needless to say, we're sold. It's just amazing. Dad's now in the process of setting up initial appts with all sorts of specialists, plus a family doctor who's also a DO and therefore knowledgeable about his arthritis. I couldn't be happier about all of it, so I guess the mess at the other hospital was for the best in the long run. Even better, we're moving soon to a really nice park on 192, Tropical Palms. It's right next to Old Town, and is where Angela's friends stayed when they were down. Planning to move after my cousin comes down in May. That park also happens to be 1.2 miles from the new hospital.
In other news, About.com is going phenomenally well. I just got my annual review, and it was glowing. The podcast job is awesome, and I have a gazillion tours in the works. I've also got a couple of other possible off and on gigs lined up. Yay money!!
Dad and I are bringing my cousin and her husband down for a week at Disney in May. They're having a phenomenal buy 4 nights get 3 free deal, so we're staying at the Ft Wilderness Cabins, which normally run over $300 a night. I'm ecstatic about that!