Last week I had some tests done on my foot. An x-ray and some other stuff.
I have a small thing my primary doctor wanted me to check out with a specialist.
So on Friday I went to see a specialist at MGH. He did some more tests.
Each time I met with someone, I gave them my name and I filled out a form. At this point, I’ve filled out at least 6 forms with 99% of the same information.
And yesterday, the specialist called me to give me the results of Fridays test. But he got my voicemail so he left me a message saying “I have your results and I want to discuss. Call me back when you have a chance. Not urgent but just want to explain a few things.”
Ok, now this doctor is a highly educated and a very nice person but obviously this voicemail isn’t terribly helpful. “Not urgent” tells me I’m fine but c’mon - can’t you just explain it?
Alright, I’ll bite, so I call him back. I get his assistant so I tell her what happened. She asks me for my name and address and phone number and I need to confirm the date of my last appointment. After I clear security, she puts me on hold and comes back on and tells me the doctor is busy with another patient and will call me back.
My schedule today is completely hosed so I can’t imagine a time when we are both going to be free. And tomorrow looks worse.
Now I come from a family of doctors. My brother is a physician and so are my parents. And Lauren used to be nurse (still has her license). And my sister in law is a doctor. I’m a big fan of people in healthcare. They are doing their best to take care of us even though their jobs are getting harder and harder.
But this system of ours is nuts.
Why can’t I just get an email from my doctor. Or why isnt there an online record with my results. Why do I have to keep giving them all my contact info every time I have an appoint. Why do they ask for my employer and title at the office?
We can do better. Who’s in?