Marijuana Doctors' Lounge at Colorado Hospital is Nation's First.

Denver, CO -  Brooks Hospital holds the honor of being the first and only medical facility in the country to offer a full service marijuana physician lounge and doctors say they wouldn't have it any other way.  Shortly after Colorado legalized possession of one ounce or less of recreational marijuana, the private physician area was opened at the urging Dr. Jeffrey Potter, a Hospitalist upset with the declining diagnostic skills of his fellow colleagues.

"I was shocked at the number of H&Ps and consult notes that had 'heart problems' or 'vision changes' as the final diagnosis.   I knew a little marijuana could go a long way to improving the differential diagnosis skills here at Brooks,"  said Dr. Potter.

In 2012, the medical community was taken by storm when Dr. Potter diagnosed a case of Dilaudopenia and Polybabydaddia during his first hour on the job.  "That's the week I bought an ounce of Trainwreck," said Dr. Potter, who believes his smoking is protected by medical marijuana laws.

The revamped physician gathering area - known as the The Weed 'n' Feed -  was opened as a quality improvement project just weeks after Dr. Potter joined the staff.  "I knew I'd have no problem getting a pot lounge set up because every day I'd hear a doctor or nurse say 'What the Hell is administration smoking'."

The hospital's physician lounge comes stocked with a full assortment of marijuana flavors, colorful pipes, 4-way bongs and dozens of plants cared for by a different specialty every week, with the exception of Palliative Care.

"Last year we accidentally assigned cardiology and nephrology to care for the plants at the same time.   They argued for a whole week about how much water to give and we almost lost them all," said Dr. Potter.

Proponents of the unorthodox physician lounge point to a dramatic improvement in the diagnostic skills of medical staff members.    Doctors gather in the lounge at all hours of the day and night, taking hits and bouncing ideas off other physicians who often drop in during rounds for a mental boost on their difficult cases.

"Since the lounge opened, we've seen a 400% increase in our cases of Ridiculitis, Status Dramaticus and Terminal Fibrocryalgia, allowing our hospital to collect millions of dollars in higher fees for severity of illness adjustments," said Jane Wymore, Director of Quality Documentation at Brooks Hospital.  "And the average word count of our surgical notes has increased from 7 words to 15 words, a remarkable feat by any standard."

Physician smoking marijuana in doctors' lounge
The Weed 'n' Feed Lounge has helped many physicians on the fence.  For example, ER doctors frequently visit the lounge to decide on a diagnosis of CHF vs COPD vs pneumonia.  "While taking hits with the Hospitalists last year, we discovered a combo pill called Lasofloxalbuterol.  The pharmacists told us it didn't exist, until we started inviting them to our lounge.  Now it's the most frequently ordered drug on our formulary," said Dr. Helen Smelter, an Emergency physician who almost had a heartastroke when the drug went on shortage last year.

For those doctors too busy to stop in the lounge, the hospital gives volunteer credit hours to pre-med students for transporting weed from the lounge to doctors and surgeons on the go.   "We even have one plastic surgeon who always takes a hit just before the opening incision to make the cut as cute as possible," said Jane Wymore.  "Her patient satisfaction scores are through the roof."

While most specialties have flourished, Jane says the orthopods continue to be the most challenging group.  "No matter how many hits they take, we still can't get them to write anything other than 'broken bone' in the chart.  In fact, we even had one unretired ortho doc write 'broken liver bone' after reading an abdominal ultrasound by mistake."

However, hospitalists are thrilled that orthopedic surgeons now come to the hospital at all hours of the day and night to admit their healthy hip fractures.  "Ever since the marijuana doctors' lounge opened, I haven't diagnosed a single case of Too Old To Admit To Ortho,"  said Hospitalist Jeffrey Potter.

Despite all the benefits, Jane Wymore says the hospital was not prepared for the unintended consequences.  "We had to triple the food budget in the doctors' lounge and put better locks on the doors after catching several patients in the lounge looking for fresh air.  And we upset a bunch of our medical staff when the chef said no to marijuana brownies."

"Lasofloxalbuterol:  When you just can't decide between CHF vs COPD vs PNA."

Lasofloxalbuterol.  When you just can't decide between CHF vs COPD vs PNA photo medical humor meme photo.

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