Mrs. Average unfortunately had to spend a couple of nights at the local hospital for some surprise medical issues. She is fine and well now, but I do have some comments about how big business like HCA Hospitals just doesn’t get it.
Here is the story and just a few of my observations:
She had started to feel really ill and had symptoms similar to a cardiac arrest. She called 911 and while they were on the way, she called me at work. I was on my way to her and she was on her way to the ER.
In Fredericksburg, we have two local hospitals (Mary Washington which is a non-profit hospital, and Spotsylvania Region, which is a for-profit hospital run by HCA), we also have three ERs with a fourth on the way (come January 2024, we will have two ERs for each hospital).
If you are looking simply at quality of care, usually the for-profit hospital is the head of the non-profit hospital. The ER waits at Mary Washington for hours to be seen. The record for our family is 18+ hours to be seen. The wait at Spotsylvania Regional is usually minutes to be seen, we can only hope that the addition of the new ER will help to reduce their wait times.
This post is however going to be about how HCA just doesn’t seem to get it.
First, the new ER for HCA, which is Fredericksburg ER. Sadly, we have been there three times and they are very quick to get you stable, but if you are not the patient, then forget it. They don’t seem to staff their front desk, which means if you arrive and want to be with your loved one, who is a patient, you can expect to stand around for a while until someone gets around to checking the front desk. My son and I had to wait upwards of 20 minutes until someone checked the front desk area. I get it, the patients are and should be their primary focus, but what if I was bringing in a loved one that needs to be seen for some type of life-saving treatment? There is no way for me to get their attention to help my loved one.
That would be my only complaint about the new ER. The main hospital on the other hand, well I have been the patient there way too often, I think it has been 5 or 6 times now. So as a patient, things are totally different as a patient, as the level of care is really good. They could use more nurses and make the doctors stick to certain times for their rounds. As a patient, I have seen the doctor anywhere from 4 a.m., and as late as midnight.
The rest of this post is as a visitor to the hospital, not a patient.
There is no longer a gift shop in the hospital, there is a space for it and a sign for it, and it looks like it was operational once, but it has been closed and vacated for a long time now. Ok, no worries, I can surely get a Coke from one of the vending machines, nope, that isn’t going to happen either, because there are not any that I could find. There is a room that has drinks in it, but you must be an employee to enter, by scanning your employee badge, as it is self-service. I think there is a vending machine in the ER, wherever the hell that is.
Okay, surely there is a cafeteria on the property, and there surely is, however, it is open for a couple of hours in the morning, afternoon, and evening. I mean, I came down to drop off some things in the car, I walked into the cafeteria and figured out what I would get when I came back. I dropped the items off at the car and when I came in the cafeteria was closed, I was only outside for a couple of minutes. The funny thing is on another day, I hit it up 20 minutes before closing and they couldn’t serve me hot food as they were already cleaning up. Ugh.
Not a problem, I will just leave and go to the Sheetz down the road, except the fact that the main doors to the hospital are closed and locked after 8 p.m. so I would have to exit through the ER on the opposite side of the hospital and then walk around to my car in order to get a damn drink. Screw it, it wasn’t worth it.
This is silly and they just don’t seem to get it. The hospital is clearly set up for staff and not for families of patients and that is just sad.
- No accessible vending machines 24×7
- Doors lock at 8 p.m.
- The ER is on the backside of the hospital, opposite the front doors, where you park to see a patient
- Very short hours for the cafeteria
I do want to say that the nursing staff is super friendly and professional, as they took excellent care of my wife. We however didn’t see her doctor until 24 hours after she was admitted. She literally was just sitting in bed for 24 hours with no tests being conducted. My guess is that they wanted to get some money out of my insurance company, who knows? The day that they released her, we were told that her doctor would be around at 7 a.m., but we never saw him until 3 p.m. and then he wanted some further testing.
You can do better HCA.
***NOTE**** Mrs. Average is well and recuperating nicely