Hospital foundation visit

hilltop_gwSeptember 21, 2012

On Tuesday my mom (78) had knee replacement surgery. On Wednesday I sat with her all day. She was in really good spirits with little pain due to all the drugs she was on. She was treated like a queen with people in and out all day. They have a new wing at the hospital so the facility is gorgeous, almost overkill. One of the people visiting was from the Hospital Foundation for fundraising. The foundation rep didn't really ask for money, just created awareness that their office was there and the purpose of their office. A business card was left.

Am I wrong to think this is inappropriate the day after surgery while a person is on drugs? If they'd have come the next day (Thursday) when they took her off the meds, my mom's attitude would have been totally different. To me, a mailing several weeks after the fact would be more appropriate (she'll probably get that too). Of course once Mom starts getting the bills her attitude might change even more differently. Thoughts?

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You have a good point. I'd give someone in that office a call and express your thoughts, and also let the nursing/medical staff hear the same thing from you. Just say that this isn't appropriate for a post-surgical patient. Suggest that they might want to stop by on the morning the patient is released if they absolutely have to contact the patient at all. Or maybe a post-discharge letter?

But it's a subtle thing and I agree with you.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 1:03PM
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Very interesting since normal post op Dr's orders state DO NOT sign any legal documents or make financial decisions for 2 or 3 days. Just the anesthesia alone and have an effect on your decisions.

Yes, I think I would politely complain.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:38PM
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Thanks for the affirmation. I seldom sit in hospitals and didn't know if this was accepted practice. I know that many entities are dependent on donor dollars; I simply think there's a time and place for everything. Had I not been in the room, would the foundation rep have taken it a step further? Who knows.... I'll wait a few days and ask my Mom if she even remembers the reps visit/conversation and Mom's thoughts on it and then contact the foundation office to make my respectful comments.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 9:49AM
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I doubt that the visitor would have taken it further, but that doesn't make it okay. Be sure to notify the medical staff as well as the foundation office. The medical staff is in charge of the patient's care and anything upsetting/unwelcome should be avoided.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 10:26AM
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What did the rep say to your mother? I doubt the foundation reps are looking for cash donations or checks from people while they are in bed.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 3:00PM
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Graywings, IMHO, it doesn't really matter what the rep said, but to a person coming down off anesthesia and on pain meds, anything is inappropriate.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 3:47PM
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I've been hospitalized four times this year, any serious stuff (Insurance, payment, Health Proxy,etc) was covered during my pre-op visit several days before. And I wasn't given any medical information about Aftercare till the day I left, when a nurse or Social Worker sat with me and went over my home care discharge instructions.At no point should a patient be asked for a donation. Perhaps sending fund-raising information in the mail several weeks later would be better. I would complain to someone higher up, not a doctor or other medical person,rather, a financial officer of the hospital.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 9:20AM
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"What did the rep say to your mother? I doubt the foundation reps are looking for cash donations or checks from people while they are in bed."

No, but I could see how a form could get signed that would add an amount on to the bill, or pledge a donation.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 10:36AM
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I am thinking that your mother must be well-to-do, since foundation reps usually don't visit run of the mill patients but always show up for "VIPs". I think that they consider it part of the care and feeding of potential donors, to show a little extra attention. I suppose some VIP sorts would consider it an insult if they didn't.

But, I've always thought it was intrusive and inappropriate, and you certainly should say something to the foundation office since you feel the same way. Speaking to the doctors isn't the way to go; they have no control over this.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:46AM
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When I mention "medical staff" I am not talking about the doctors. But rather the hospital management that set rules about who can visit post-surgical patients, etc. I'm talking about policy-makers. The Foundation office will just blow you off. If you complain to the medical side of the hospital, not the fund-raising side, you have a leg to stand on, since this is directly about patient care.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:14AM
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former hospital chaplain here. Current pastor.

I'm going to say that's inappropriate.

A very comparable thought--even though we're currently doing a stewardship/pledge drive in our church (as many are since it's year-end), I wouldn't mention it when I do a hospital visit. I would focus on the need of the person in the bed.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 9:28PM
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This is exactly what I used to do for a living. I was a fundraiser for a hospital that sounds a lot like the one you were in -- new over the top wing. I even looked at your member page to see if it could possibly be the same one. It isn't.

Has your mother been making donations to the hospital before her surgery? When a current donor was admitted to the hospital we got an email saying they were there. We would go visit them to say thank you for their support and to be sure to call us if there was anything we could do while they were there. I never talked to anyone who was still woozy from surgery. I often took flowers and left my card so they knew how to reach me.

Anyway, fund raising can be sleazy at times. You are always cultivating people in hopes that they will give money. I am glad to be out of it. On the other hand, many people really do care a lot about an organization and it is nice to be able to answer their questions and be sure that their gifts are spent as they want.

We also sent letters asking for contributions to nearly everyone who was admitted to the hospital a few weeks after they are discharged.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 7:41PM
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