To the Editor,
It has become apparent to me that there is a problem with the way patients are cared for at Southeastern Regional Medical Center. My father was a patient in the fall. He had health concerns that necessitate that he maintain consistent nourishment. He had a crisis that required investigation and it was revealed that he had not been given a meal —- nothing to eat — during the course of the whole day.
The center explained that since he had not ordered food, they did not serve it. It seems like there could — or should — be a policy in place that serves meals by default if a patient does not order. That is a dangerous practice.
Recently I became painfully aware that the situation has not been rectified as it happened again with an elderly family friend who was also mid 80s. He was not given breakfast or lunch, and is also diabetic and on dialysis. His daughter, who lives out of town, had to order a meal from a local restaurant to be delivered to his bedside.
I was not in position to assist because I was out of town also. During this particular exchange, another patient revealed to us that she had been through a similar situation at SRMC. Since this has happened twice with people for whom I care dearly, I believe that it is quite probable that the situation has presented itself often. We registered a complaint with the patient representative when this happened to our father in the fall. It looks like nothing has been accomplished to make this situation better.
There is a gap in the SRMC plan. It is time to put SRMC on notice so that patients from this day forward will not have to experience such unnecessary trauma. It is imperative that you change/update your policy to make sure that all patients receive the care that they need, in all facets of your service delivery.
Julian N. Wilson