Has This Ever Happened To You?

A quick look at a re-occurring theme about wasting time and effort in the doctor’s office.

The last several times I have gone to a doctor’s appointment I‘ve been either asked to bring a complete list of my medications with me or, when I get to the office, I ‘m given a two, three or even more pages form to fill out.  These forms ask all kinds of medical information such as my family history, my medical history, why I’m there for this particular visit, what is bothering me today, and the level of my pain, etc. 

After taking the time to fill out these forms or having already gone to the lengths of filling out the medication list that I brought with me (which, by the way, is already available to the doctor on my electronic medical record), then I am not asked to turn over these forms.

So after I’ve been seen and dismissed by the doctor, I ask,” what am I suppose to do with these forms?” It’s obvious that if I hadn’t asked what to do with them, I would go home with them.  Actually, I’ve done just that more than once.

At one particular appointment I was told to turn them into the front desk.  The front desk person refused to take them and told me I’m supposed to leave them with the checkout person.  The checkout person told me I needed to give
them to the front desk person who’d just refused them, and this was after I‘ve
been seen and dismissed by the doctor.

This is probably not a big deal; but why are we being made, to fill out these forms if no one is interested in this information?  Do you think anyone bothers to look at this afterwards or records any of this in your record?  I don’t think so!  

Oh, I get it.  Is it just a tool to keep you occupied in the Doc’s office so that you are not thinking you’re being kept waiting too long?  No, I don’t think so, because you’re usually asked to come in 15 minutes early to fill out paper work.

Now the question become; will I be brave enough to forgo this exercise the next time I am asked to do so?  You know that will be the one time the doctor is actually going to look over this information.  My gut tells me to just refuse and let the doctor ask what he really needs to know and you know what?  That is exactly what I am going to do!

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Denise Zadina July 23, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Keep a laminated card with your meds, spouse's meds, and any elderly parent's meds. I keep one on my wallet at all times. I also make the first appointment of the day. Less likely to have to wait. Tell whoever is working the desk you want these in your files and request copies of your medical records from each one of your doctors.
Ron Goodenow July 23, 2012 at 01:51 PM
I keep a USB flash drive on my key ring that has comprehensive emergency information on it -- addresses, doctor info, insurance info, etc.. I include info on my own few meds, my 98 year old mother's (many more), and my wife's. I have also filed a complete set in the Google cloud which can be read on my brand new smartphone or an EMS laptop if needed. More sensitive info on my med history, access to my electronic health record, photo of passport and drivers license etc. is kept in an encrypted file on the flash drive, where I also keep a copy of the encryption program that can be booted up. Having my mother's info at my fingertips came in handy when she was unexpectedly admitted to an emergency room while traveling. Its important to know what to keep easily available and what needs to be encrypted in the event the keyring usb drive is lost or stolen. But if you take a few minutes to do all this it could pay off significantly, particularly if, like me, you travel a lot internationally. Just remember to update!


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