Thursday, October 29, 2009

Trying to Fix the World, One Place at a Time

I know. I'm supposed to accept the things I cannot change, change the things I can, and try not to waste my time by putting things in the opposite category.

Yesterday I think I wasted my time twice.

First I met with the administrator of radiology. He kindly showed me the x-ray access screens that the doctors use. These screens do display the patient names by default. It is possible to move the x-ray around and partially obscure the name, but that obscuring would be temporary, and it could not happen by accident.

I asked to see the laptop version. I was shown the erroneous x-ray on a laptop.

The administrator told me that they don't show people x-rays on laptops. He said laptops don't link reliably with the network and they use different software. I told him I know I was on morphine, but I did not hallucinate a 17" diameter laptop computer with somebody else's x-ray on it. My husband saw it, too.

He said he asked the radiology residents if they ever showed x-rays on laptops, and none of them said they had done so. He agreed to ask the trauma residents if they ever showed x-rays on laptops. He claimed that the standard procedure is to give patients a printout of their own x-rays with their names on it. That would be a good idea, but that is not what happened.

I also suggested it would be a good idea to send somebody in with the x-ray who can discuss it. Just showing somebody an x-ray is not really enough information on which to make an informed decision. That is not the job of radiology. So, as it stands, surgery gets to look at the x-rays, schedule people for surgery without telling them, and nobody admits to bringing me that laptop. I guess they're going to have to find somebody who admits bringing me the laptop before they'll believe me.

Since it did happen, the odds are that if they keep asking, they will find the person who did it, and they will put a stop to this practice. Now, if I can get them to start sending a surgical resident to explain the x-ray and the intended surgery and the likely side-effects, progress is possible.

Then I went to the hearing about the noisy messy corner bar that wants to start serving liquor at outside tables. The manager was there. He admitted he was never there at closing. But he insisted there is no noise problem, so he refused to do anything about noisy drunken patrons leaving his bar at 2 AM and waking the residents. He says he hires trash cleaners, but they aren't there at closing and they aren't there in the early morning when I walk my dog. They come at 10 AM and sweep up. He even said that cats get into his locked trash bin and take out the beer bottles that we find all over the neighborhood, including in our flower boxes.

I think there's a good possibility that the examiner will oppose the license, but last time this bar wanted a new license -- for the noisy DJ they have on weekends -- the examiner opposed it and Harrisburg approved it anyway.

I'm not holding my breath for justice or sanity to prevail. I don't see how allowing this noisy littering bar to extend its serving area beyond its walls is going to have a positive outcome. But there is still a possibility I might get somewhere. The bar did get a city permit for the tables without posting a zoning variance request on their premises. Maybe I can get that variance revoked. Or maybe I'm tackling another thing I don't have the power to change.

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