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October 2014

Weekend Hospitalization

Author Affiliations
  • 1independent consultant
  • 2former president and chief operating officer, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, Washington
JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(10):887-888. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.1531

More than once during the last years of my father’s life, I found myself navigating for him and my mother the many challenges and frustrations of hospitalization. His clinicians and the hospital staff were well trained and well intended. The supplies, equipment, and facilities were all first rate. But the environment within which his care was provided lacked uniform and consistent processes, which led to great variation in his everyday experience throughout his stay(s). And there was little communication among his clinicians about his current condition or their next steps, which led to a lack of direction, no sense of urgency, and certainly no systematic approach to his care. And of course, that was during the week.