Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bringing the Mountain

We used to dial our rotary phones. We also used to drive long distances to see specialized doctors. They involved trips into the city where swearing occurred regarding traffic, bad directions, and inability to find parking along with stress on the patient and the overwhelming desire not to throw up in the car on the way home from chemo. Then some one was really smart (beyond the rocket scientist level) and decided to bring the hospital to the patients.

The latest fad in medical treatment  is to take all the fancy hospitals in Boston and have them set up medical facilities, particularly cancer treatment centers, in the suburbs where all the patients live. Why didn't someone think about this a long time ago? Medical treatment is about the patient so we might as well treat them where they live.

Actually the hospital where I am treated is not listed in this article because they moved to the suburbs in the late 1970's and they opened their new cancer wing in about 2005.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had a friend who was also diagnosed and opted to go to Boston for treatment. During her treatment, she hated driving in and out for treatment. It took most of the day by the time she allowed for rush hour, parking, treatment, and drive home. As I said before I am very appreciative of the fact that I drive through suburbs and can even avoid school bus routes and shopping malls as needed to sneak through the back roads to get treatment. I can even go to their really local office about two miles from home for somethings including PT and blood work.

Medicine is beginning to recognize that its all about the patient and patients are getting smarter as well as older. They decided where they want treatment and as they age they become reluctant to deal with things like city driving and parking. Its not just doctor patient communication and nice hospitals, but its about making it easier to get to treatment in the first place.

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