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At Mercy North Iowa, are you a customer or a patient?

A reader recently referred our staff to a page at called “Letters from our Customers” where former patients wrote in and described the excellent care they say they received at Mercy North Iowa in Mason City.

The question the reader asked was “does Mercy view us customers or patients?”

What is your opinion?

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Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I wish to put in writing like this moreover ?taking time and precise effort to make a very good article?however what can I say?I procrastinate alot and in no way seem to get one thing done.

I have been to the ER twice over the past decade. I was treated with respect and received a proper diagnosis and medication to applicably address my reason for being there. I have taken my wife to the ER once and two kids each once for various injury and illness. I have no issues with that treatment received. I am thankful for the Mercy ER 24/7 coverage. What would MC do without them? Think about it.

I’ve decided there’s really no point in dying quietly. To prove what? If you feel like Mercy isn’t treating you well, or answering your needs…start screaming your head off. You’ve got nothing to lose really. Being polite when it comes to the end of times, doesn’t mean much really. Make them work for you, or make them kill you trying to shut you up.

Well Peter, you could always go to another hospital, it’s a free country.

Actually that comment was a little bit over the top. This time I agree with Buddha…I was doing it again. And it wasn’t supposed to be a reply to Joe…but I make that mistake sometimes instead of scrolling down to post comment. Anyway…that one I’ll just chuckle at…although the point of what I’m saying is that if you’re going to die…why not do everything you could to get your point across. Why just be inconsequential and quiet. Your dead. Your dead. So may as well die trying…go out with a bang so to speak.

I am a fair man, and so I will share with you my latest Mercy experience which just happened yesterday. Because of my ongoing medical mystery condition, I was referred by Dr. Dankel to Mason City Clinic Cardiac Dr. Gholam Zadii. The intake nurse who weighed me did a very good job of taking down my history and symptoms. Very nice and professional. Dr. Zadii at first appeared skeptical and kept asking me irrelevant questions pertaining to what I did for a living, But after me doing some minor ass kissing to the typical doctor ego that exists…he ordered a Zio patch to monitor my heart for 2 weeks and blood draw to check my thyroid levels and for inflammation of heart. I went away satisfied and all was well. The blood draw phlebotomist girl did a very good job of inserting the needle and drawing the blood, but she made some mistakes pertaining to sanitary practices. 1. She prepped the area on my skin with an alcohol wipe but then used a dry gauze that was sitting on the armrest to wipe off the excess alcohol before inserting needle…thereby allowing any contaminants from the arm rest to now reside on my freshly prepped area. 2nd. after the blood draw she used a folded over gauze which again was sitting loosely on the armrest to press over the needle as she withdrew it from my arm…which she then secured with a piece of tape. This practice is erroneous because the gauze sitting on the armrest area, is now no longer a sterile item. Any contaminants from the previous patient may sit on that armrest, thereby contaminating the gauze she kept setting on there. Those mistakes need to be addressed. The women on the 6th floor Cardiac center did a very good job of explaining and installing my Zio Patch. So with the exception of the blood draw…everything was very smooth and good. I’m going to forgive Dr. Zadii of his initial transgressions because in the end he did the right thing and addressed my concerns and ordered the tests.

And what did “the blood draw phlebotomist girl” say or do once you kindly pointed out the error(s) of her ways? It was very kind of you to forgive Dr. Zadii of his initial transgressions as well. Good job! Get well, soon.

In the interest of getting thru the day, I didn’t say anything to her. Surprise inspections can occur anytime, anywhere, so if you’re an employee…best to stay on your toes. Oh yeah, I should mention the X ray department was very good and took 3 snaps of my chest lung area. I was serviced promptly with minimal wait time.

Technically though that’s Mason City Clinic…not Mercy. But no problems from the Cardiac Dept. on 6th floor so thus far…it’s really just the Emergency Room that gets the most demerits. I haven’t been to 5 East in over 12 years, so I don’t know much about that area either. The last time I was there was when Dr. Lassise fabricated a medical report while I was in the ER for food poisoning. I have never ever asked to be put in 5 East. It always happened against my will, when I was trying to get seen for other matters. This is at the heart of why I have grievances with Mercy in the past. I probably am going to be filing a lawsuit for the April 2010 emergency room incident as the statute of limitations is coming up soon. If I do, I will be sure and keep NIT posted.

Another question….”Aspirin”, what is your position with Mercy? By your post, you seem quite pro mercy. I think the people that work there don’t really see the things that the general public does.

I think the level of care at Mercy is not the greatest. Sure they make some national list of being in the top 100 hospitals, but where exactly on that list are they??? Showing my age, I remember when we had Park Clinic in Mason City. There you were not a number, or a dollar sign, you were a person, a patient. I’m so sick of Mercy’s big business politics. They claim to have preference for the poor, but that’s not entirely true. They will treat you, in the emergency room whether you have insurance or not. If you don’t have insurance, they will stabilize you and send you on your way somewhere else. I’ve seen collections going on in the clinics. Very sad, I’ve seen patients turned away because of inability to pay. Again, very sad. Aren’t they supposed to be non-profit???? It sure seems they are making money, they keep remodeling, they are constantly spending money on their own properties. So why are some people being turned away? This is a situation that is not going to get any better. With the economy, people are losing their jobs and with it their insurance. I really think that Mercy needs an overhaul in the management area. The people in management at Mercy have no idea what’s it like to be in need. So to answer the question? No people are not patients.

PETER…. sounds like you need to be on 5 East permanently! You are such a genius – why are you not running the U.S.A.? Just another blithering hot air filled excuse for a human.

And why’s that?

To the medical staff you are a patient. To the business office you are a customer. Every medical provider needs both. One does not exist without the other. I don’t believe for a second that medical staff are about the almighty dollar. The work they do cannot be done without a passion for helping their fellow man. In addition, people need to pay for the services they are provided or they won’t be sustainable. Costs are high but we have the best healthcare options in the world. They are also high costing because so many don’t pay their fair share. For us that pay our bills we are subsidizing for those that don’t pair for the services they use.

Have to agree there Joe. As long as there are plans such as Medicaid/Medicare who do not pay the full rate, someone has to cover the rest of the real cost.

I like my doctor, he treats me with respect and good cheer. The staff in the ER by far have been competent, and handed my situation with professionalism.

My visit in 2000 for a heart attack in particular was handled promptly. They checked my blood oxygen, asked me who I was, and if the info on the computer was correct. Took two seconds! As fast as that was done they slapped a wrist band on me while they lifted me onto a gurney. The rest, I don’t quite recall. But they must have done something right, ’cause I am still ticking!

Right now I’m on my way to a NORML meeting. I’ll pick you up in twenty minutes. We can take my car because it’s got all the doors on it. It’s too cold for the Harley on a night like tonight. See ya soon!

Again, I think this is funny!! Buzz, you are so funny!! With a great memory. No car doors……HA HA!

Peter….Do you think football players are talking about you when they are in a huddle???

Aren’t you supposed to be caucusing for Bachmann?

Mayo has problems, too, just as any healthcare provider/facility. Insurance is an f’n nightmare for facilities and providers. Joe Blow on the street has no idea as to the magnitude of problems dealing with Insurance companies especially Medicare – a government run program. It is the worst of all to deal with – always changing the rules, not notifying providers/hospitals of the changes until after multiple claims have been rejected (intentionally to delay payments ) Mercy is a wonderful facility and the North Iowa area should be thankful we have such. You will get horror stories at every hospital/clinic ! Don’t be so ignorant folks. If you can do better why aren’t you running the show? Agree: you are a patient while in the hospital but a customer when you leave & why…. because the bills need to be paid so the facility can function and be there when you need them again. Ever take time to think about the wonderful programs that Mercy provides for the community? STOP the bitching, please!

Stop bitching please? Lucky to have a facility such as Mercy? Yeah right. I’ll be lucky when I can go seek medical help without having to worry about ending up on 5 east. I’ll count myself lucky when I can present with a medical problem and have someone actually figure out what it is for a change. Could I do better? Yes I could. I would run that hospital better than it’s run now…but I would need to be put in charge now wouldn’t I? At the very minimal I’m hoping Mercy abides by my desire to NEVER have psychiatric situations ever put before me again, should I need to get medical help for something. As soon as they go read your past file…and with quacks like Dr. Lassise and Dr. Armstrong writing in your file, you are doomed. Did you know that Dr. Mark Lassise actually fabricated an entire encounter with me once while I was in the emergency room? He made up a bunch of stuff to force my admittance to 5 east and it never occurred. I never even met with him during that visit to the ER for food poisoning. He wrote in my file that: “patient admits to having auditory and visual hallucinations, states that he’s paranoid and wants to come up to 5 east for protection”. It was complete hooey. I never said any of that. I have never hallucinated in my life…audio or video. I never even spoke with him while I was sick on the gurney from food poisoning. This shows you the level of stunts Mercy doctors are capable of pulling.

If you feel so strongly that the situtation really happened then you should turn them in. But you need prof. Do you have any witnesses? I knew Dr. Lassise at Mayo Clinic and he was a fine Dr. I can not see him doing such a thing that may jeporidize his profession.

sheryl allen

Another question….”Aspirin”, what is your position with Mercy? By your post, you seem quite pro mercy. I think the people that work there don’t really see the things that the general public does.

Send all your comments about MERCY ER to north ia today and they will get published and also send one to Jim Fitzpatrick, then maybe everyone will wake up. Ive been to the er and its a joke. Its allways a 3-4 hr trip there so bring your sewing stuff so you dont get board.

I’d like to see them publish *all* the letters they receive, not just the few positive ones.

You are a customer at Mercy, no doubt about it. The ER is the WORST place!! Hassle upon hassle & wait 2 hours for a strep test. They give you no free samples for meds. Hate the ER! The maternity ward is great though, really liked everyone I’ve ever dealt with up there. Sweet nurses, but still felt like an overpaying customer.

I had a pacemaker put in at Mayo. I was told when to arrive and to which location. When I stood in front of the reception desk the girl asked me one question; what is your name? After I told her she said go sit in that area and someone will come for you soon. When they did come, they took me to a dressing room where I changed into a gown and proceeded to the table where the device was installed. Then to a room where an overnight stay is required. In the morning a couple doctors came in and checked the unit and said I was good to go. At no time ever, did anyone ask to see an insurance card, I was not asked for any money ever, there were no signs on the counter saying “Pay your co-pay now!” For all they knew my insurance could have been expired. A few weeks later I received an itemised bill informing me of the total cost and what I owed; I owed $85.00…I sent a check. Big difference.

peter what are the initials of the lady yo are talking about as I dont want to have work on me when I go in there

I think she works as an insurance clerk, gathering information while you are sick and trying to get help. Doesn’t everyone find it ridiculous that the triage experience in hospital emergency room relies on gathering your identity and insurance information FIRST, before you are seen by a doctor? I’m not going to give you her initials, because it really won’t affect your care any differently as she isn’t a nurse…however I cannot be sure that she hasn’t moved to another position. When I was in the ER she was taking my insurance information. I’ll give you some hints though to see if you can figure out the puzzle. Remember the character from the television series Dallas? The one everyone loved to hate? Part of her initials are found in his moniker. I won’t say whether that’s the first name or the last. And the other clue is if you + 1 on the other initial you will arrive at the answer.
Good luck.

What do you expect from a company that got caught hiring a sex offender as a doctor.

Customer. No doubt that all hospitals just want our money. When they start calling us customer’s like we are getting an oil change you know society had taken a turn for the worse.

You just did it again.

Yes he did.

Okay, you want me to get more case specific Crumcutter? I tried to just leave my comment at that but if you want details I will gladly give them to you. How about this fact. Right now, working in the ER is a young woman who is a known cocaine addict and whore for drugs. I’m not saying she doesn’t perform her job well, but many people know about her alternative lifestyle on the outside. So if people like that are working in the ER…not to mention the recent sex offender doctor who remained unnoticed…why is it such a stretch to believe their quality of service is compromised? There are many, many good people that work at Mercy…I’m sure of it, but there are also some real lemons. They need to do a better job of routing out the bad ones. But then again…it could be Hospital administration in the first place that is bad, and therefore they wouldn’t know good or bad because of their own flawed, dirty lenses.

I believe that at the heart of this problem lies poor education and base level skill. This then translates into abusive authoritarianism which they transfer onto their patients. If you’re really good at what you do, it will show…but if you possess only a baseline understanding of medicine…when difficult issues come into your office or ER, you won’t know what to do, and will mistreat the patient because the pressure will mount. The solution to this is to provide continuing education and to hire better professionals to begin with.

It’s probably Administration that ultimately needs to be replaced.

And you want drugs legalized? Think about what you are saying here Peter. So now what? Drugs can only be legalized for certain people? And not for those whom work in the ER? You are starting to confuse me, your mind is very weird.

If what Peter says is true, that is frightening to say the least!

Lizard I want drugs decriminalized not legalized. I want the harsh penalties and prison sentences to end. This doesn’t mean that I don’t feel hospitals and other employers are able to set their own policies concerning employees who use. I favor employee drug screening for sensitive jobs such as the railroad and health care workers. But if they are found to be “dirty” with drugs, then I would favor their ousting, but not their imprisonment. There is a distinct difference between decriminalization and legalization…or pro-drug. I’m ultimately against drugs, and except in rare controlled cases I don’t think people should be using them. But it’s not an issue where I would take away your rights to liberty and freedom, UNLESS your drug use caused you to become violent or a thief or dangerous. In that case, mandatory treatment programs could be inflicted on you while you are incarcerated for your assault, or robbery or other crime. But if you use drugs and don’t break laws otherwise…you would be safe in my system. Because really, at that point, what’s it anyone else’s business if you aren’t causing any trouble?

Peter – You are doing it again.

gab·ble (gbl)
v. gab·bled, gab·bling, gab·bles
1. To speak rapidly or incoherently; jabber.
2. To make rapid, low muttering or quacking sounds, as a goose or duck.
To utter rapidly or incoherently.
1. Rapid, incoherent, or meaningless speech.
2. The low muttering sound of a goose or duck.

When dealing with the medical proffesion you are a patient.

You are simply a patient number as well as an insurance number when you deal with any office connected with Mercy health care.

The first question out of there mouth is either do “do you have insurance” or “how are you going to pay for this”. This hospital has long ago forgotten its mission of helping people as when the nuns ran it. It is now all about cutting cost no matter what and making absolutely as much money off each patient as they can. The keep saying they are not making an money, yet build a new emergency center and partnership for a new helicopter. They continue to buy land and expand and yet let go long term employee’s because they can hire two people for that same money.

So are you a patient or a customer? Niether, you are a financial opportunity to them and you are treated as such depending on how much they can draw out of your account. I will say most times it is management that drives this direction, nurses and care givers in general are trying to do there jobs, as always there are exceptions, but in general the staff is trying to do the best they can.

I am sure the horror stories from people could go on and on. I know that I have a few that I could talk about, which include the care at Mercy Hospital. I say, a few bad apples have given that place a not so good reputation. Healthcare is all about the almighty dollar. Look at the price of it? Well overpriced. But then again, you wouldn’t want a plumber performing open heart surgery I guess. Customer? NO. Patient? NO. An avenue to gain money? YES!

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah Peter. You like the sound of your own voice in your head as you type that WAAAAYYYYY Too much ! Give us a rest !

The page referred to has TWO comments. The hospital sees two “customers” every few minutes. They serve and bill thousands and thousands of customers.

Okay, I’ll give you blah blah blah. Last year I was stricken with an illness. I went into the emergency room with shortness of breath, severe weakness, ringing in the ear, and unable to walk correctly. I thought I was attacked by a virus. After being given IV’s and laying on the bed in the ER. The young woman intern doctor said she couldn’t find anything wrong with me. Further more, because a nurse thought I was acting strangely due to my anxiety surrounding needles and the IV they summoned Dr. Azham the psychiatrist, who was flanked by 2 large security guards. He insisted that I need to come up to 5 East and start taking an anti-psychotic to clear up my mental condition. I waited until they left the room. Got dressed and hustled out the Emergency Exit door with the nurse trying to yell down the security guard to catch me. You take your blah blah blah and shove it up your ***. This is a real occurrence that just happened in April 2010, so don’t give me your b.s.. Mercy has issues. Many people know it. We are justified in complaining here, because God knows Mercy Administration doesn’t care.

When the first thing they ask for is your insurance card, you are a customer.

Interesting. The delicate nexus between capitalism and compassion. Customers or patients? Are the two interchangeable? Are they distinctly different? Which one takes precedence? What are the implications? I’m interested to hear the public’s opinion on this.

I would inference that your status as a patient depends on your level as a customer. But this is true of most health institutions. Even the Mayo Clinic keeps giant photographic wall murals of Sheiks from Saudi Arabia who donate millions to their clinic floors.

Here’s the kicker though. If Mercy started seeing people as patients exclusively, they would be helping to fix a lot of society’s problems rather than add to them. When troubled people come into Mercy, it really makes a distinct difference if people are treated poorly or if they are treated well. The chain of causation really goes into effect. Good begets good and bad begets bad. This is the unfortunate aspect of Mercy in my opinion. They are far too authoritative minded, and they don’t understand that bad experiences in hospitals add to the utter sense of doom and defeat that many citizens feel. Hospitals are the final gateway between the world of the living and the dead. I just wish they wouldn’t treat their position so morbidly.

You are a patient in the hosptial, and a customer after you leave 🙂

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