Monday, October 22, 2012

Elderly Woman Literally Buried by Avalanche of Paper

After completing the following rant. This is what I will drink.

My mom has been to seven different doctors since she arrived here in Margaritaville. She's had her pacemaker tested. She's had a bone density scan, an electrocardiogram and a test of her carotid artery. Tomorrow she'll have an ultrasound of her legs, and it was filling out the paperwork in advance of this upcoming appointment that has pushed me over the edge. Eleven pages to fill out. Much of it redundant. All of it completely redundant when you consider that each doctor's office has required the same information over and over again. Why? Couldn't there be a universal form that one fills out with the primary care physician? Couldn't a copy of that form be given to the patient and then carried to the next doctor and the next, etc, etc? What if the patient had a flash drive? Oh, wow. How long have flash drives been around? For fucking ever. So why oh why are the elderly being abused with reams and reams of paper? A lot of these folks already wear glasses, hearing aids, false teeth, and are strung with a  "I've fallen and can't get up button." What if they also had a cool little bracelet or key fob or necklace with a fucking flash drive that contained all of the relevant medical information?

In addition to my own pre-printed list of my mom's meds (there are 14 including the supplements) that I give to the doctor's offices to copy, I have now created a pre-printed list of her surgeries (9) and her diseases and conditions (14). AND, HEY, DOCTOR'S OFFICES OUT THERE, IT WOULD BE FUCKING FABULOUS IF THERE WAS A COVER SHEET WITH THIS SIMPLE QUESTION: Is the patient hard of hearing? Letting the doctor and staff know that right off the bat could be an immense help, dontcha think? And then maybe there could be some fabulous continuing education classes on how to talk to a hard-of-hearing person. Or maybe doctors and their staff could follow this one little rule. LOOK AT THE HARD-OF-HEARING PATIENT WHEN YOU SPEAK TO THEM. Look. At. Them.

That is all.


Elizabeth said...

As my little sister always says to me, "I hear you barking, big dog."

Pour me one while you're at it.

Ms. Moon said...

I know. It's insane. It's all just insane. From the very tests themselves to the ridiculous amount of paperwork to the lack of any common sense involved in any of it. The last time I took my mother to the doctor they handed her a clipboard with several pages of papers to fill out and I took it and Mother said, "Do you want me to do it?" and it made me crazy. If she had tried to fill it out, it would have taken the rest of the century. She can't remember that she has insurance, any insurance. How could she have entered the correct information?
And she resents me for filling out the paperwork instead of letting her do it and I resent her for losing her mind and that makes as much sense as what you're talking about and...
You're a very, very good daughter.

N2 said...

A very worthy rant. I agree with Ms Moon, you are doing a great job fulfilling your daughterly duties. Hope the Baileys helped. x0 N2

Suz said...

oh dear
they better watch out
and not mess with your mom
Good suggestions..having everything already printed out
....Did you make the suggestion to the doctor about his staff looking at the patient when speaking ...hint hint
you too doc
most of this redundant stuff is do to the changes inour health care system....they have to ask each time
...wait till it really kicks in

Steph(anie) said...

You are so right about the hard of hearing stuff.

The rest? Reminded me why I like Kaiser so much. It's all on their central computer system. It is fabulous.