Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Feel a Need to Explain...

I just had the most amazing dialogue in the comments section of Tony's Kansas City. We were in the entry about Lesa Gonzalez excusing herself from Citizens to Save MAST. I engaged with an anonymous commenter with regard to MAST.

You should read the dialogue. We're near the end of the comment section, maybe the last 5 or so comments. I'll wait.

Welcome back. Now for those of you who have been following my entries on MAST in this blog, you would rightly come to the conclusion that I am against the changes in MAST's governance and I believe that MAST should not change. This is mostly accurate, but not complete. My concern is for the patient care given on the street. I have never played politics particularly well; I don't like stuff that gets in the way of taking care of the patient. If Louie Wright and his silly games down at City Hall get in the way of taking care of the patient, then I am not in favor of Louie and his organization taking over. If MAST's administration has been misusing money and treating MAST employees badly, then that needs to change, because it gets in the way of taking care of the patient. Contented and happy people, who trust their administration give good care. I've seen this over and over in the hospital setting.

So I am all about the process. I am all about the facts and structures of the organization. Because that directly influences taking care of the patient. When the first plan was to have MAST as a separate "ambulance department", there were no facts, no numbers and no structure. With this plan to place the ambulance service under the fire department, we have a few more facts but precious few numbers and only vague thoughts about structure and operational issues. We went at this all back assed; made the decision without all the facts. I have participated in decisions while on church boards of small churches with more facts. Public input also was lacking. I can hear people saying most of the public doesn't have a clue about what's going on. The public does need to hear that the transition from a private company to city governance will be handled correctly, or the public will just think it will be bungled like bulky item pick up or other city services that indicate the city does not have its shit together.

Perhaps I am not as emotionally invested in preserving the status quo as others. The only irons I have in the fire are personal (as a potential patient) and professional (as a caregiver in the chain of patient care). While I think that the city has been poorly run by the mayor, city council and city manager the past two years, I have not had enough involvement to have a personal feeling about this. This has been all about what will work to give the best care to the patient on the street for me.

Maybe this was something that needed to happen; to make this change is to improve the emergency medical service in Kansas City and to improve the working conditions and morale of the men and women who provide this service. But, Lord, we sure did stumble into it back asswardly

I'm not quite ready to stop gathering signatures and call it a done deal. I still would like to slow down the process and get everything out on the table--clearly not all the facts have been displayed openly by either side. Putting it to a vote of the people, even just that threat, might slow everyone down, and open things up a bit.

In the end, it's all about taking care of the patient.

1 comment:

Capt. Schmoe said...

Actually a pretty good discourse with valid points made on both sides of the issue. Well done.

Here is the deal. This applies to almost any change related issue that arises in fire/ems.

It is never as bad as you think it's going to be.

It is never as good as you think it's going to be.

It's going to be different tomorrow.

Thanks for the post.