A large hospital system has built another unnecessary temple here in Oklahoma. Underutilized facilities are everywhere. No matter. Now that the facility is open with all of the glitz and glass they need doctors. One that they have tried to recruit is an ear, nose and throat specialist friend of mine. He went to his mother ship hospital (a cross town temple-building rival) to ask for what are called preference cards. These are the 3X5 cards that we keep that basically are a list of what a particular surgeon requires to perform a particular case. These have become popular over the years as a surgeon needing to perform a case at a new or unfamiliar facility could have his preference card sent to the new and unfamiliar place so the staff there would know in advance exactly what he/she needed with no surprises.
This sharing of information has been honored as a courtesy between even the most vicious rivals over the years. It is simply a matter of patient safety, as finding out in the middle of an operation that all that is needed is not available, is a real problem for the patient lying on the table.
Guess what the “not for profit” mother ship hospital said? Ready? ”Those cards are proprietary.” Wow. Guess what happened next? The Surgery Center of Oklahoma provided the new facility (no friend to our organization!) this doctor’s preference cards.
Don’t worry. If you are having surgery at one of these new facilities here in Oklahoma City we at the Surgery Center of Oklahoma will do all we can to make sure that your surgeon has what they need.
G. Keith Smith, M.D.