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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Converting Two Visits into No Visits


A man at the Bonaventure was suffering an earache. The pain was not severe and had been present several days, but he wanted it checked. This seemed like an easy visit.

But it was 5:00 on Friday. My traffic app showed a solid red line for the ten mile freeway drive downtown, converting a half-hour trip into… I hated to contemplate it. I explained that I could be at his room between 8 and 9. That was fine with him.

I had barely hung up when the phone rang again. A guest at the Warner Center Hilton had diarrhea. The Hilton is fifteen miles in the opposite direction from the Bonaventure with an equally red freeway. I could have scheduled it for later, but if a third call arrived….

The guest was not terribly ill, so I pointed out that most diarrhea is self-limited. I gave dietary advice and recommended an over-the-counter remedy that was a good as the one I hand out (actually the same), and suggested we talk again in a day. Happy to get free medical advice, he agreed.

At 6:30 the Bonaventure operator called to inform me that the guest wanted to cancel the visit. When I phoned both guests the next day, they were doing fine.

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