To Whom It May Concern:
Not long ago, a child was sitting in a high chair eating. When she decided she was done, she pushed back from the table, her chair tipped, and she bumped her head on the floor causing her to experience momentary syncope and causing her eyes to roll back in her head. The mother was quite concerned that the child may have given herself a concussion or even worse, fractured something. As a good mother, the woman immediately took her child to the local emergency room at Fitzgibbon Hospital in Marshall, Missouri to have her checked to make sure there were no serious or life threatening problems, as one should do in a case like this.
About a week later, the mother received a letter in a Fitzgibbon Hospital envelope, with the address written in red ink, as if she was being scolded for taking proper care of her child. Inside the envelope was a bright red piece of paper from Marshall Family Practice, the hospital affiliated clinic, with the top ten reasons to go to the ER. The mother felt this to be very condescending and did not appreciate it at all. She felt as if she was being told that they don’t want her to utilize their services when she feel s her kids are at the point where they need it.
This is quite disturbing, and the mother was upset with the unprofessional manner in which this was handled. The red ink, and the bright red paper was and is uncalled for as well, and simply gives people the image that the Hospital and Clinic staff feel they are far superior to those utilizing their services. Another reason this is disturbing and unacceptable is that this makes people confused as to when they should take their children or themselves to the ER and could possibly cause someone to lose their life.
If they are doing this in the name of patient education, a much better way to handle it would be to have the ER personnel hand out the information on plain white paper, although this would still make many people unsure as to whether they should visit the ER or not. They should not wait, and then mail something after the visit; this is just ridiculous, and unprofessional. Most people take themselves, or even more so their children, to the emergency room when they feel that the injury warrants it. No hospital should make anyone feel unwelcome, or that they are doing the wrong thing by utilizing any service of the hospital. The visitors are not doctors, so to them, they feel that they are doing the right thing, even if the hospital staff disagrees. Of course there are a few people that abuse the system, and go for simple things that could be cared for with a normal appointment to their doctor, but it is better to err on the side of caution when it comes to anyone’s health, especially a child.