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Hip Replacement
Posted Monday, 26 October 2009 By Pat Lynch
My husband died of septicemia following a hip replacement operation. His medical care, as his condition deteriorated, demonstrated many problems with training and work practices, information management, and analytical capabilities of the medical profession. He went into the hospital with a broken hip. Hip replacement surgery was executed. He left the operating theater with a bacterial infection. The infection spread to a number of parts of his body. Each symptom was treated by a different specialist. The treatments were completely uncoordinated. The doctors never spoke with one another. Communication of condition, treatment and medications was done through sloppy notes scribbled on a clipboard which hung from the end of his bed. When I asked about interactions among the medications, the doctor was insulted that I had investigated potential interactions. It was clear that he was unaware of the other treatments. There was no central database to highlight potential problems of multiple simultaneous treatments and no analytical aids beyond the independent thought processes of each of the specialists. The doctors treating the various symptoms never once collaborated on an overall strategy to prioritize and coordinate the various treatments.

A single database with associated analytical aides would have improved the situation. A smart database that required interaction and concurrence among the doctors could conceivably changed the outcome. A personal history and current treatment database is a critical first element in a strategy to improve both efficiency and results.
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