Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Preparing for surgery tomorrow

[This is what I wrote in an e-mail, but I'm just leaving it here in case you're researching what to do.]

My head explodes when I think what we pay for these EMR!! How many billions ($27 billion in 2009) and there wasn’t a shred of evidence from any studies it would help health care.
We just had a call from the hospital (9 a.m. Tuesday) from a clerk checking all the details for surgery tomorrow. We have to call between 2-4 p.m. today to find the hour of the surgery on Wednesday. The hospital still didn’t have any of the test results from his complete physical on Aug. 16—different doctor, 2 miles down the road. Carrier pigeon could have done it better. And as I think I mentioned before, his internist never received the results of the scans 3 weeks before his physical. Also the hospital had him listed as 5’11”, high blood pressure and cataract surgery. None of that is true. I’m wondering what other Bruce’s medical records got folded into his. He’s about 5’8”, no problem with blood pressure ever, and his eyes are fine. Always, always, have another person checking. The lobbyists for IT made a bundle on this, but at our expense. 
Rant over. I’m going to vacuum to blow off steam.
As a bonus, here’s what I wrote about this problem 7 years ago:
I stopped by to pick up a prescription at my doctor’s office because the “electronic transfer” of information between that office and the pharmacy I used hadn’t been able to manage the job in 3.5 days, and I was out (old methods of fax and phone aren't used anymore). Normally, I would have just told the receptionist what I needed, and my file (paper) would have been retrieved (human). No. I waited about 10 minutes as she struggled getting the right screens up, then worked from screen to screen, asking me questions I didn’t know, like date of my last appointment and address of the pharmacy. A line was forming behind me. When she finally found it, she said there was no record from the pharmacy requesting permission for a refill, but the doctor would decide.

That night we got a call from the doctor’s office that “it was ready,” i.e. the prescription script. My husband went to pick it up and waited about 15 minutes in line as the receptionist struggled with the screens of 2 or 3 people ahead of him. Fortunately, it was in a paper envelope with my name hand written on the outside. We can only hope and pray that the national “network” that Obama is forcing thousands of small offices to buy into (causing many to close their doors), doesn’t work any worse than what you’ve all experienced at the local level as your doctor or clinic transitions.

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