TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: What Happened to Me

Re: What Happened to Me

John McHarry (
Fri, 07 Apr 2006 03:12:31 GMT

On Thu, 06 Apr 2006 17:29:21 -0400, TELECOM Digest Editor wrote:

> I knew I had _something_ still wrong with me when I came back from
> Jane Phillips Medical Center in Bartlesville, but I attributed it to
> continued weakness from the heart attack. I still had very labored
> breathing, (sort of an emphsezma/COPT condition) and was using oxygen
> when I slept at night. But I _assumed_ it was all under control. It
> now appears I had pneumonia when I was admitted to Jane Phillips;
> Mercy Hospital (here in Independence) had assumed I would stay in JP
> until all was cured; JP on the other hand wanted to first deal with my
> heart attack (and the stent they put in me) as the first priority,
> then they sent me back home figuring I would deal with the pneumonia
> on an outpatient basis with Mercy.

If the system you describe in Independence were linked with the
Bartlesville system, presuming they have one, that wouldn't have
happened. Information handling in medicine is really culpably poor.

> OB-TELECOM and MERCY HOSPITAL DATACOM: _Everything_ at Mercy Hospital
> is computerized. Everytime a human being came into my room to
> variously change the antibiotic bag or feed me some pills or pound my
> back or for that matter to dump my piss-pot urinal in the toilet they
> would make entries on a lap top computer they brought with them and
> plugged into a connection in my room.

> ...and he said among other things, it did remove
> the possibility of 'human error' in noting the administration of
> drugs to the patients, etc.

It certainly reduces it, but I don't believe it eliminates it. Let's also
hope they have the system properly backed up and decoupled from any
Internet access.

> Not a single _wired_ phone where staff is concerned. Patient phones
> were wired, of course, but every staff person had a cellular phone.
> They called them 'hospital phones', and claimed they were on a
> different frequency than cellular; to me they just appeared to be
> cellular phones, and not their personal cells either. They would
> answer them _by their department name_ even when in patient rooms. On
> the roof of the main hospital building here and there I would see
> little antennas stuck around everywhere, that is what they worked
> with I guess.

It doesn't sound like the building is very tall, but if it is one of
the taller structures in the area, it may well rent out antenna
space. Also hospitals tend to have pager systems, links with various
other emergency services, etc. The few of them I have been on the roof
of had fairly impressive antenna farms.

> Even though these 'hospital' (really cellular?) phones
> looked and acted like cell phones in general, I noticed that when
> they had occassion to call another employee or department they only
> punched out four digits as though it was an extension.

That could work either way. It is possible for cellular systems to
implement Centrex groups with internal dialing plans.

> Dr. Higknight's phone was the same way, four digits dialed got him
> the intake department across the street at the hospital, and '9' got
> him an outside line. His phone was a 'hospital' (cellular?) phone as
> well.

If they don't think it is cellular, it still might be some variation of
it. If they want to cover the entire town, it would almost have to be, but
if it only needs to work near the hospital, it might be some sort of
standalone system. The latter would have the distinct advantage of being
less likely to saturate in an emergency, or of being able to implement
precedence and pre-emption, like military systems at least used to do.

> Well, that's what I have doing all this past week.

Sounds like you were better entertained than anyone, yourself most of
all, would have wished. Glad to have you back.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: The previous time I was there, some
three or four weeks before as an emergency room in-patient of course
was when I had the heart attack. (My third one of God knows how many I
will go through before I finally depart.) I really did not feel very
well that time around; not well enough to critique the phone system. I
do not think they intend to saturate the entire town; that is what the
public phone system is for. I do know the switchboard has a 'tie-line'
or two between B'Ville OK, C'Ville KS and Independence. I suspect that
Labette County Medical Center (next county east of us) is on that line
as well, as are Wichita and Topeka, and probably Tulsa. Those main
cities (Wichita, Tulsa, Topeka) are all the principal medical centers
in our area; All three are about equally distant (100-150 miles?) from
the center core (B'ville, C'ville, Independence) where rural medical
services are needed. I do not know what the various antennas on top of
Mercy Hospital do, but I have heard on my scanner radio when calls
went out to the helicopter which transports patients around. And I
know City of Independence has an antenna up there as well, but I do
not know why, City Hall, (police and fire stations) as well as the
County Court House (sheriff and correctional center [or, as we call it
the 'jailhouse']) are all within about one mile of each other, and all
have antennas on their roofs also.

I do know that on top of each of those buildings there are also siren
horns, to warn of tornados, which is our big problem around here. When
I got dismissed from Mercy yesterday about noon, I had been home about
two hours and the sky got _very_ black and the horns went off; then
police took over the cable system telling people 'get into cover' and
drove down the street making the same demands, so I went and stood in
a certain spot (a closet in between a couple of outside walls where
one can sort of crunch down) to wait until the 'all-clear' was sounded.

Something very odd, to me at least: In 150 years, Independence has
never once been directly hit by a tornado. They say that is because we
are in a low-lying valley area. Things sort of blow over the top of
us. Elk City State Park, five miles west of us got hit by a very big
tornado about a week ago however. And that one was a *weebitclose* IMO,
as the far west side of town got some damage and -- God Forbid! --
even Walmart had to go into a lockdown that day for twenty minutes; no
one admitted to or allowed to leave the store during the storm. PAT]

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