Monday, August 26, 2013

Back Story: Staying connected, medically speaking

This is going to sound tres cliche, but I'm going to tell it anyway. Oh that younger generation...

Our daughter went into labor late Saturday afternoon, catching us all by surprise, as we didn't expect that for another four weeks. So great-grandma, who was to fly in from Malaysia in time for the blessed event, will now arrive a few days late. And I, who was to have minor surgery this morning, ended up dog sitting while Amy ran off to the Soin Medical Center in Beavercreek with the paternal grandparents. So, while we were hoping to rid ourselves of a dog for my hospital trip this morning, we actually ended up caring for an extra dog. But, not having anything to do with technology, that's neither here nor there, and only serves to explain why I was not in the waiting room with everyone else to greet our latest family member.

When the grandparents arrived at the hospital, the expectant parents had already gone into the labor room. There can be no lack of information in the information age. Radio waves are whizzing all around us and we can expect them to fill that void. Amy whipped out her cell phone and sent a text message to Chris.

"What's happening?"

"We're near."

"How near?"

"Very near."

And so forth...

I'm surprised they didn't go to video.

At home, I went on Facebook to kill some time and there was a message from the new mom in the labor room, "I just spit out a baby boy!"

There were already 30 comments, one of which said, "I didn't know you were pregnant."

Of course, the texts were now flying into my own phone, fast and furious.

I posted something on my timeline and emailed my son and daughter and sisters. They immediately asked for photos...

The next morning, Sunday, when I went to the hospital to see the new baby for the first time, I brought my Android tablet. There is free wi-fi in every room at Soin. I took a couple pictures and posted one to Facebook and emailed a couple to family. There was a woman there with a big, fat Nikon. She would post her photos to a special webpage where the parents could pick out the ones they would like to purchase.

Soin was like a ghost town. There were only two patients on the maternity ward. I saw but one nurse, no doctors, no visitors. The parking lot was empty, the lobby was an echo chamber for the two teenage volunteers at the reception desk. I chalk that up to it's being brand new.


Fast forward to this morning, Monday. I get up at 5:30 to be at Greene Memorial by 6:00. I have Amy drop me and return home to take care of the dogs. Every admissions clerk and nurse is connected to the Kettering Health Network's servers. Everything I tell them is recorded somewhere in the cloud. They have access to all the information from the time I was treated for a urinary tract infection in 2011 and Bell's Palsy in 2012. They have the results of every blood pressure test, blood sugar test, CT-Scan, EKG, you name it, and now they are inputting all the new data.

They knock me out with something in an IV and when I come to, I feel just fine. The operation seems to have gone well. The surgeon leaves me with some instructions and I am doing an exit interview with a friendly nurse. I tell her about my visit to Soin. It turns out that the other woman on the maternity ward, Saturday, was her niece.

She asks me if I would like to be able to access my medical history online.

"Sure," I say. "Why not?"

I figure the NSA, IRS, United Health Care, Snowden, Manning, Putin, and Al Quaida probably are, so why not me, too.

I come home, register on the site and open my file. Then I open another tab and go to my Blogger account.

Welcome to the modern world, my new little grandson. I can't even begin to imagine what your life will be like when you are my age.



Karen Wintrow said...

Do we have a name yet?

Virgil Hervey said...

The kid is going home today and they have narrowed it down to three names.