My father has metastatic cancer and is doing very well on chemotherapy. He became suddenly ill over the weekend and we went to the Winona Health Emergency Room. He was not treated as a person, but as a diagnosis. Because the last visit with his oncologist had been only two days prior, they only had an old oncologist note written after his second chemotherapy treatment.
They refused to believe the family when we told them that this was sudden onset, not a gradual one and that the illness he was experiencing was not the cancer. Because the ER physician and both hospitalists had made their minds up that he was basically a "dead man walking" and so they didn't run a culture and sensitivity test on his urine specimen (which was full of white cells), didn't do anything but tell him that he was dying from the cancer and needed to go to a nursing home when he got progressively weaker (he had an undiagnosed heart condition completely unrelated to the cancer).
It was only when the oncologists note finally showed up in their system that they got concerned enough to check things out and he started to improve. Basically, the hospitalists, Jeannette Groschel the NP and Dr. Knight pretty much made a mess of his care and all because they couldn't see the person and refused to listen to the family.
Frankly, from now on we will be going to either Gundersen or Mayo for further care. Winona Health has proven that they really aren't even able to follow standard medical practice by doing a culture and sensitivity test on a patient hospitalized with a urinary tract infection and if they can't manage that with all of the advocacy my father had, imagine how badly they will treat someone with cancer who doesn't have vocal advocates.
Winona Health really messed up badly with my father and as a person who has always supported our local hospital, I am both frustrated and disappointed. I expected better of them. Heck, I expected them to do standard care and we didn't even get that. If we hadn't been as forceful as we were, I believe we would now be planning our father's funeral instead of bringing him home.
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