Saturday, July 23, 2011

Are Patients are Still Patient(s)?

There was a time when doctors were doctors. Now we are providers.

There was a time when office assistants were just that. Now they are clinical service representatives. No, wait; that was last year. Now they are flow managers. Whaaaat?? Providers need managers to keep them efficient, on time, and on task.

The emergency room used to be the ER, now it's the ED (emergency department). Renal failure requiring chronic dialysis used to be termed, ESRD (end stage renal disease); now we acknowledge this diagnosis as CKD (chronic kidney disease) and there are 5 stages depending on severity. Cadaveric renal transplant (CRT) donors morphed into deceased donor transplants (DDT).  Non-heart-beating renal donors adopted the new terminology: delayed cardiac death (DCD) donors. The blood bank is now transfusion services.

Countless changes in terminology reflect some modern sense of political correctness, I suppose.

The constants?  Patients are still patients. They may not always be patient in demeanor or attitude but then, they never have been. At least we are not referring to patients as clients. Yet.

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