Thursday, April 21, 2011

If Boston Marathon Ran Your Hospital...

It has been a few days since running the Boston Marathon. The fog is starting to clear and I wanted to share my perspective as I try to view the marathon from a patient perspective...

In the hospital, we focus on some basic needs for patients which the StuderGroup names the 3Ps (Pain, Potty and Position) Protocol. Other obvious focus areas on basic needs include nourishment, medical attention and compassion with thousands involved directly and indirectly to provide this support. The same held true at the marathon.

When entering a hospital for surgery, a patient shows up a couple hours in advance, gets prepped for surgery, enters the operating room, goes through surgery and takes a few days to recover.

When entering the Boston Marathon, runners register, show up early to catch the bus to the start, take care of "potty" needs. There are medical tents to help any "pain" needs and you enter into a certain corral based on your qualifying time so you are "positioned" correctly with people similar to your speed in the race. During those 26.2 miles it felt like many of the same hospital basics were covered...bathrooms; medical tents; nourishment stations every mile; millions of "friends and families" providing cheers, compassion and encouragement along the whole route.

Even at the end, the "marathon case managers" get you safely to your belongings, provide more nourishment before you leave and offer last minute medical tents if you need to see the doctor before you leave. Some even leave the marathon in a wheelchair however that is not an ideal way to depart! From there, you are discharged home with a plan to recover over the following days.

If Boston Marathon Ran Your would be proud of them and pleased with your experience.

Thank you to the thousands of volunteers and staff in our hospitals and the Boston Marathon and thank you to the millions of families and friends who support us when we are patients or race participants.

Congratulations to Geoffrey Mutai (pictured above for his marathon record breaking time of 2:03.02 (that's an averag of 4:42/mile)!

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