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Valued Contributor
Posts: 645
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Dog in the doctor's office

In 1976 I was a senior in high school. We had to come up with a community volunteer project and perform 100 hours of community service as part of the requirements to graduate with a College Prep diploma. I decided to bring puppies and kittens to nursing homes twice a week for a few months. The nursing home staff quickly got on board as did the ASPCA shelter in my town.

The elderly patients were so excited and happy on those days. The most confused patients that seldom were "with it" always knew when puppy/kitten day was. On that day those patients did respond.

 

The only restriction, (which I placed on the program) we did not allow the patients suffering from dementia to hold the kittens, because as we all know, kittens have claws and they do "latch on" when held. The puppies were great for these patients.

 

Not once did any medical personnel complain about the animals.

 

When I left to attend college, the program continued because it was so successful. No family members of patients ever complained either.

 

Today, the nursing homes and personal care homes have dogs and cats on "staff". They also have birds. The hospitals have dogs come in frequently as well. 

Further reasons for why I doubt the OP.  I hope someday the right cat or dog manages to reach her and enrich her life as only our 4 legged friends can.

“The price of light is less than the cost of darkness.”
– Arthur C. Nielsen
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 141
Registered: ‎04-24-2014

Re: Dog in the doctor's office


@CatLoverDogsToo wrote:

In 1976 I was a senior in high school. We had to come up with a community volunteer project and perform 100 hours of community service as part of the requirements to graduate with a College Prep diploma. I decided to bring puppies and kittens to nursing homes twice a week for a few months. The nursing home staff quickly got on board as did the ASPCA shelter in my town.

The elderly patients were so excited and happy on those days. The most confused patients that seldom were "with it" always knew when puppy/kitten day was. On that day those patients did respond.

 

The only restriction, (which I placed on the program) we did not allow the patients suffering from dementia to hold the kittens, because as we all know, kittens have claws and they do "latch on" when held. The puppies were great for these patients.

 

Not once did any medical personnel complain about the animals.

 

When I left to attend college, the program continued because it was so successful. No family members of patients ever complained either.

 

Today, the nursing homes and personal care homes have dogs and cats on "staff". They also have birds. The hospitals have dogs come in frequently as well. 

Further reasons for why I doubt the OP.  I hope someday the right cat or dog manages to reach her and enrich her life as only our 4 legged friends can.


 

Wonderful program @CatLoverDogsToo. ❤️ Amazing how animals change us in a good way.

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,458
Registered: ‎06-10-2015

Re: Dog in the doctor's office


@Moonchilde wrote:

@noodleann wrote:

@Moonchilde wrote:

It's a "dirty" (as opposed to sterile, 100% germ-free) world. And yet we survive.

 

I have never, nor have I ever known anyone, who got an infection (other than perhaps a common cold)  at their doctor's office. Which is not to say that it isn't humanly possible. But in 47 years in the medical field, it sure as heck wasn't, and isn't, endemic.


@Moonchilde, what you don't know is anyone who's told you they had an infection acquired at a doctor's office or other medical facility. You may have known a number of them, and probably have. I am confident that I picked up my first round of MRSA from the local office I described earlier, the place that was and remains so filthy, because I didn't have exposures that would have accounted for it otherwise. 

 

Fortunately, I was treated and recovered, after several bouts and rounds of antibiotics, which I tolerate well. But bear this in mind--people don't tend to talk about MRSA because it raises huge red flags over you. It's a permanent blot on your medical record here, at least. It affected me negatively in ways I won't detail, but suffice to say it's not something I talk about unless circumstances warrant. And just for the record, I swabbed negative twice for MRSA when I had osteomyelitis. The first infection was non-MRSA and hospital acquired from surgery--the hospital prez even wrote me an apology, which I found odd. The second infection, which was confirmed on the day I swabbed negative for MRSA again, was a swamp of MRSA in the hardware in my leg. Even though I had a history of MRSA, I'd tested negative, had not had MRSA in that leg in the prior surgery, but then had it. AFAIC, another hospital acquisition.

 

My neighbor died of C. diff acquired either at her doctor's office or at a nursing home where she was recuperating after radiation.

 

Bottom line, you don't know whether people you've known have had office-acquired infections because they might not know that's where they got them, and regardless, they probably won't talk about it if they do know. And some of us aren't surviving the germs we pick up there. 

 

When I say "dirty," I don't mean theoretically contaminated. I mean visibly dirty. Unclean. Not fit for duty. No one is talking about sterility or being "100% germ free." Except you. 


 

 

 

Ah. So now it's hospital-acquired infections - which yes of course do exist. But the post I was responding to specifically stated doctor's offices, not hospitals, and I was responding to that. Changing your stance from doctor's offices to hospitals, and your experience in hospitals, doesn't change the original post. Or my response.

 

If I had ever seen a doctor's office as you have described them, I would never return there. If "every/most" doctor's office is like that for you...I question that.


@Moonchilde, check the post again. I say clearly  I am confident that I picked up my first round of MRSA from the local office I described earlier.

 

I am. I did. It was the dirty doctors' office. And believe me, although the specialty offices are generally better, the GP offices, which is where I get most of my care, are as I described them.

 

You would return there if that was your only choice. You can question away, but your questioning doesn't alter my reality, or my infection history.

 

Just FYI, the major medical practice I use is part of a hospital system that rated 2 out of 5 on Medicare's Hospital Compare scale. So it's not only my impressions, experiences, and beliefs that it's poor, it's government documented. Yet a prior administration had nothing but effusive praise for it. They must not have read their own numbers.

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,458
Registered: ‎06-10-2015

Re: Dog in the doctor's office

For those who'd like to see how their hospitals (including those with affiliated non-hospital satellites of group practices, like mine) compare nationally and to each other, here's the website. 

 

https://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html?

Valued Contributor
Posts: 645
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Dog in the doctor's office

@noodleann  If the GP's office is that filthy, have you considered calling or writing to your insurance company (assuming you have insurance other than Medicare)? 

 

Most insurance plans have minimum requirements that practices have to meet in order to be part of the "network" Many plans do on-site inspections every two years. The practice I managed had inspections every year because different plan's renewal anniversaries fell on odd or even years. The inspections were very detailed and we would have flunked and been tossed out of network if the office was not clean and well run. And incidentally, we had a dog in the receptionist's area too, for children that were scared, or elderly folks, or anyone else that wanted a "canine visit".  The dog was bathed and parasite free of course. The nurses completing the inspections never had a problem with the dog either.

 

Our office had clean rooms for procedures.

 

All rooms were cleaned between patients as well, I would have stood for nothing less.  

 

If you can't complain to an insurance company, then surely the health department or insurance commissioner in your state might be interested. If it is that filthy, I have to wonder about malpractice claim history as well.

 

I can't imagine going to a filthy office or any business for that matter. Is there no one else you could see?

 

 

“The price of light is less than the cost of darkness.”
– Arthur C. Nielsen
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,458
Registered: ‎06-10-2015

Re: Dog in the doctor's office


@CatLoverDogsToo wrote:

@noodleann  If the GP's office is that filthy, have you considered calling or writing to your insurance company (assuming you have insurance other than Medicare)? 

 

Most insurance plans have minimum requirements that practices have to meet in order to be part of the "network" Many plans do on-site inspections every two years. The practice I managed had inspections every year because different plan's renewal anniversaries fell on odd or even years. The inspections were very detailed and we would have flunked and been tossed out of network if the office was not clean and well run. And incidentally, we had a dog in the receptionist's area too, for children that were scared, or elderly folks, or anyone else that wanted a "canine visit".  The dog was bathed and parasite free of course. The nurses completing the inspections never had a problem with the dog either.

 

Our office had clean rooms for procedures.

 

All rooms were cleaned between patients as well, I would have stood for nothing less.  

 

If you can't complain to an insurance company, then surely the health department or insurance commissioner in your state might be interested. If it is that filthy, I have to wonder about malpractice claim history as well.

 

I can't imagine going to a filthy office or any business for that matter. Is there no one else you could see?

 

 


I have Medicare. In fact, the plan I have is through the very corporate facility that runs this place. It's a semi-rural area, and I like having emergency care closer than a half hour away. It's a trade-off. I wash my hands after leaving that place and I don't use their pens, touch their magazines, and avoid that bathroom. But I'm not complaining because I don't want my file flagged. I am working to get well enough to avoid going entirely.

 

I found an old account by a PA about this very issue that illustrates the problem: The cleaning is left to the medical staff, and under the pressured conditions in today's health care, it's not getting done. But this was over a decade ago:

 

"We are always at odds with our janitorial service. They empty the trash, vacuum and mop the floors, wipe off the counter tops, clean the bathrooms/sinks, etc. every night. If I gave them a grade for those cursory efforts, it would not be a passing one.

 

"Cosmetic cleaning is totally different than disinfection. For instance, if you just wipe off a counter top that had blood and urine specimens sitting on it all day, it does not remove the pathogens. It will take a chemical disinfectant to do that job. It is often left to our busy medical assistants to take this final, critical step. Not only will disinfection protect our patients, they will protect US. Controlling the spread of infectious disease is EVERYONE’S responsibility in the medical office.

 

"When the examining room door closes, I am the one that will see contamination. I am the one that will chastise the Dads for throwing a poopy diaper in the top of the trash can (Mothers know better). I am the one that sees fresh blood on the examining table after checking a child’s hemoglobin. So, I am the one that is going to need to properly clean this area after the patient leaves."

 

http://blogs.webmd.com/all-ears/2006/06/dirty-places-part-3-your-doctors-office.html

 

The PA is clearly working with a practice with pediatric patients. Reading his account reminded me of a doctor at the place I go to who had a stuffed toy attached to her stethoscope, a little puppy. I saw that thing for years, getting grubbier and grubbier. It clearly never had a bath. Every time I saw her, I used to wonder how many germs were clinging to that little critter.

 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 645
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Dog in the doctor's office

@noodleann  Medicare imposes excessive regulations and excessive documentation requirements for reimbursement for services. The reimbursement is generally  50% of the fees allowed by most other insurance plans, which is why practices in my area will not take any new medicare patients. These regulations in many cases cause practices to find "ways to get around things". There aren't any regulations to actually ensure safety of patients, despite the fact that medicare indicates there are.  It is awful that there is nothing in the regulations requiring proof of sterilization of equipment by an outside lab on a monthly basis, disinfection of surfaces, and an occasional unannounced walk-through inspection.  I know if they "see" a practice doing something "wrong" with a piece of equipment, such as a scalpel handle, that is a $10,000 fine, but there isn't anyone there to actually "see" that.

 

Germicidal/viricidal cleaners should be used in each treatment room after each patient leaves.  Those preparations are not that costly. That practice isn't only endangering patients, they are also endangering themselves.

I hate that you have to deal with that, but it looks like you are taking all the precautions you can. I blame the practice manager (if there is one) for the shoddy cleanliness too, she or he should know better..

 

(If it were me, and I have a rather odd sense of humor) I'd probably go in there wearing a mask and gloves, and when asked by the office personnel, I'd say" No dear, I am not sick, I just don't want to LEAVE here with something." 

 

I know you cannot do something like that because your chart probably would get flagged, and it is better to have care closer to home.  Stay safe.

“The price of light is less than the cost of darkness.”
– Arthur C. Nielsen
Honored Contributor
Posts: 33,580
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Dog in the doctor's office

I flew out of Ohio to Tampa last Sunday and there were 3 dogs on the plane.  2 large labs and a smaller dog of some kind in a carrier.  The flight went perfectly fine, without any issues.  If you didn't see the dogs boarding, you never would have known they were there.

 

OTOH, we flew home to Ohio with 3 drunken idiots on the plane.  One got into a verbal altercation with another passenger and I thought we were going to have to land the plane and remove the one drunk guy.

 

I would rather have flown with a plane full of dogs than those disruptive, ignorant drunk people that were on the plane.      

Honored Contributor
Posts: 25,929
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Dog in the doctor's office

@Lipstickdiva  Last Christmas my friend wanted to fly home with her dog but he is too large to go in a carrier under the seat. She was told by multiple airlines she had to either get him under the seat or he had to go in cargo. So I wonder how they managed to get those labs onto the passanger compartment of a plane.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 33,580
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Dog in the doctor's office


@151949 wrote:

@Lipstickdiva  Last Christmas my friend wanted to fly home with her dog but he is too large to go in a carrier under the seat. She was told by multiple airlines she had to either get him under the seat or he had to go in cargo. So I wonder how they managed to get those labs onto the passanger compartment of a plane.


Maybe they were therapy/service dogs.  I really don't know.  But they were perfect.