Sunday, August 30, 2009

Doctor Dalai's Something Blog?

Anonymous, from Sydney, writes:

Sam, I'm glad you feel so compelled to discuss your thoughts about the Healthcare bill on your blog. But perhaps you should rename your blog to something else. "Dalai's PACS Blog" certainly doesn't fit with the most recent line of discussion.

I am an avid reader of your blog due to your excellent, humorous and well justified commentary on using PACS in your day to day life. Not to be-little the topic of socialisation of the US Healthcare system but being Australian, I don't really care at all about it and am missing the daily quips, opinion and other related material based around PACS.

No Offence intended - and of course its your blog and you can right about what ever you like, but as a reader I can express only what I would hope to continue seeing on your blog.

No offense taken, Mr./Ms. A., and I do take your comments to heart. I am thrilled like you wouldn't believe that someone actually reads the stuff I write, and I'll strive to provide what you actually want to see. More about that in a moment.

My browser displays the last eight posts of this blog. Of those, five relate to PACS, and three discuss the health care bill or something related to it. (I'm rather proud of my Harry Plotter satire, by the way, and you do see how it fits in with the health care theme.) That's not such a bad ratio, now is it? I've never had the inspiration, intelligence, creativity, gumption, or time to blog daily, and Mrs. Dalai would not be pleased if I did so anyway. I have many more important duties around the house, you see.

I have to agree with my Australian friend to some extent, as I do want to have more PACS content. I've had some trouble finding stuff that you might find interesting, however. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough, or maybe PACS is in the doldrums over here. I can tell you that the exhibit floor at SIIM was fairly lean in vendors and VERY short on customers. Those who hold the pens that write the checks are quite skittish about the future of healthcare in the States, as am I. That might explain the slowdown of PACS news, at least to some degree.

I'm not sure I can adquately convey the sense of frustration I feel about what is happening in Washington, D.C. The blog is really the only way I have to vent that might actually reach a few people. Based on the comments to the more controversial posts, I have definately made contact, both positively and negatively. I'm going to keep on doing so, and I would urge those who aren't interested in that facet of my existence to please stay tuned for the next entry (or maybe the one after that.)

As for PACS, I am going to emulate my more esteemed colleague, Tim from HISTalk, and ask you to send me (anonymously, of course) tips, rumours, innuendos, questions, observations, etc. I'll do my best to follow up on these and publish those that might be amusing or educational to my highly-intelligent audience. Just use the comment field below, and thanks in advance.

For the time being, the title will remain, "Dalai's PACS Blog," as that is still my main theme. "Dalai's Miscellaneous Blog" or "Dalai's Bullsh*t Blog" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

My Australian friend notes that the American health care system holds no interest to him/her. I, however, would like to learn more about the Australian system, which seems to be a decent blend of private and public operations. Rumour has it that I might just show up at the RAZNCR meeting in Brisbane this fall, and if so, I might get the chance to be educated on the Aussie version of healthcare.

G'day to those down under (and up over?) in the meantime. . .


Anonymous said...

I notice in most of the comments about universal healthcare, there has been little comment about the workers that provide that care. I have looked up some salary surveys in the UK for radiographers and nurses and it seems that wages there are lower than the states. Are wages likely to go down with universal healthcare? If so, I find it hard to believe that there will be too many qualified people wanting to enter into a field, or even stay in a field, that demands so much out of a person.

My other question is, if we are to provide healthcare for all, if there is an area that is underserved, how will that be remedied? Will we be forced to build hospitals or clinics in these areas? Will healthcare workers be forced to move to these underserved areas? I do not think it is too much of a stretch for the government to put pressure on employers or empolyees to make us do whatever it wants. Whoever is controlling the purse strings ultimately controls everything.

Anonymous said...

The question no one in the government seems to be answering is who is going to take care of all these supposed new patients ( I say supposed because I have worked in State run facilities so we have been providing care for these "left out " patients since the beginning)
The Hospital admins will do what they always do when the threat of lost revenue looms. They will start cutting the people who actually do the work. This historically means that Radiology departments will be one of the first areas of the hospital to see a reduction of staff ( doesn't seem matter that they are one of the few money making operations in the hospital). Followed closely or at the same time as Lab and Resp. therapy. Finally nurses will start to get thinned out. So what will happen is people wont get a cut in pay but there will be less people taking care of a greater number of patients. This reduction in staff will mean far fewer people taking care of the same number or more patients which means the quality of care will drop, people might die and law suits will increase thus making healthcare more expensive and causing further cuts. I'll bet if asked no one wants their family member on a floor in a hospital with a 10 patient to nurse ratio.

Ever notice that everytime they talk about changing healthcare they never talk to the people on the "ground" and ask their opinion on how to make it better/cheaper. You never see active Nurses , X-ray techs, or lab and respiratory staff on the panels discussing how to make the changes. Just the administrators who don't actually have to care for the patients.