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How concerned should I be?

 
 
Reply Sat 21 May, 2016 08:02 am
For the last couple of years every time I call to make an appointment with my doctor there is some confusion -- another patient record with my same name and birth date. There's something "weird" about this other file. They can't tell me what it says but they do say things like "I've never seen a file like this before".

I've learned to just say "There are two files with the same name and birth date, my file is the normal one" and then I make my appointment without problems.

Yesterday I called for an appointment and went through the same spiel, scheduled my appointment and went to the office. This time though both the nurse and the doctor asked if I was still taking the medication for lower back pain. I explained that I've never had lower back pain and that I've never been prescribed medication for it. They seemed pretty puzzled by this. I kind of got the feeling they thought I was shopping around for pain killers even though it looks like the odd prescription, written last December, was for a strong ibuprofen.

When I got home I sent an email to my regular doctor asking about the odd item in my records. I haven't heard back yet but my doctor is very responsive and I'm sure she'll get it figured out.

Are there other steps I should take? I really don't want some other person's medical files ending up in my record.
 
Tes yeux noirs
 
  3  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2016 08:32 am
The doctor may be unresponsive because they don't wish to admit making an error. My doctor has another person on his list with the same name as me; we are sometimes confused with each other. It is standard practice here for clinic staff to ask for the first part of the patient's address.
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2016 08:41 am
@boomerang,
I'd focus on getting them to start asking for an additional piece of information like the already suggested address or some form of ID.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  4  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2016 08:42 am
@boomerang,
My first thought is that maybe this is a variety of identity theft and the "other" boomer is trying to get opiates? I'm not sure that makes sense, but the same name AND same birthdate seems really weird to me.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2016 08:44 am
@Tes yeux noirs,
I'm sure she'll respond. My appointment was late yesterday, Friday, and she was out of the office, which is why I saw a different doctor.

They do verify my address when I make an appointment. There is just the initial confusion when I first call in and I've learned my way around it.

I don't really think this other file is a real person, just some kind of dead file that they can't get deleted or something.

They also verify who I am when I'm in the office. They were going over my prescriptions (allergy) when this odd one came up. Everything was correct in my history except this one thing.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2016 09:01 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
I don't really think this other file is a real person, just some kind of dead file that they can't get deleted or something.


Ah, that would make more sense.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  4  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2016 09:01 am
@boomerang,
The result of an X ray was mixed up with another patients, once. I am the only one in all of Sweden with the name combination so it was a real mistake.
I told my doctor but she believed the X ray doctor more than me and refused to remove the problem out of my file. She even continued to tell me that I was a person with special risks.
I changed to another doctor - problem solved.
boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2016 10:06 am
@saab,
Yikes! That's pretty scary.

I keep finding myself doubting my memory about this. I can't imagine complaining about lower back pain but the visit corresponds with the only time in my life I was going through some complicated medical stuff and maybe I'm hazy. I don't think I am -- mostly because ibuprofen upsets my stomach and I was recuperating from a pretty serious stomach infection at the time.
saab
 
  3  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2016 10:14 am
@boomerang,
My doctor told me that I was at risks because of a special type of cancer, which had killed my sisters and my mother. I have no sisters and my mother did not die from cancer. After all I should know better than some doctor who made an X Ray....
Get the doctor to go thru the two files with you and see what kind of mistakes there are in both of them.
Don´t doubt your memory - doubt the doctor´s files.
0 Replies
 
rubbywilliams
 
  2  
Reply Tue 24 May, 2016 11:49 pm
Yeah you should concerned rather more careful dealing in these types of things with doctors.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  3  
Reply Tue 24 May, 2016 11:58 pm
@saab,
Wise decision.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 May, 2016 04:26 am
Medical confidentiality laws would prevent Boom from seeing the other file. My advice is that you contact your county or state medical association, tell them that this is very disturbing to you and you want it resolved. Make it clear that you have no problem with your physician. It might help if you sat down with Mr. B to make as concise and succinct a statement as possible. Don't let this go on unresolved.

My medical records were mixed up once, and when i went in with an injury (which turned out to be a broken collarbone and a dislocated shoulder), i was given a pill while waiting for the doctor--which i foolishly took without asking first what it was--which contained codeine. I am allergic to codeine, and that's in my medical record. So when the doctor came in, i was rolling on the floor in incredible agony, and vomiting blood. Even simple, straight-forward medical conditions can be bizarrely complicated by a records mix up.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 May, 2016 11:06 am
@Setanta,
We got it sorted out. She sent the prescription but I never had it filled.

I'm not sure how it ended up saying it was for a back problem but I think it was just an oversight. I do have a pretty serious thing going on with my arm and it gets really sore so I do occasionally take mega doses of ibuprofen when it's acting up but mostly I just try to deal with it.

That story about your medical mix up is terrifying, Set. I'm feeling pretty lucky that I can access all my info online these days and I'm going to be sure to ask what it is if they ever had me something.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 May, 2016 11:10 am
@saab,
Didn't your medical file follow you?

Was the new doctor just more willing to believe you?

What ever happened to the old doctor? I hate to think they're still practicing!
saab
 
  2  
Reply Wed 25 May, 2016 12:43 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
Didn't your medical file follow you?

No, why should it? If I do not tell where I come from the doctor wont ask for the file and if I do not tell what happened how should he know
Quote:
Was the new doctor just more willing to believe you?

Yes, but I have had too many mistakes done by gynegologists that I stopped going and after 25 years I went to one told about all the mistakes and now I am in good hands.
Quote:
What ever happened to the old doctor? I hate to think they're still practicing!

Of course they continue to practice. The X ray doctor was THE DOCTOR in town.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 May, 2016 01:10 pm
@saab,
I have had superb medical care through the years, at least partly because I worked in hospitals from the time I turned sixteen (after school, weekends, summers and after university until I was 40) and I knew who was who re regard for the docs in two major hospitals.

The only time I had trouble was when I had moved north from my old stomping grounds - and a simple cataract surgery went very badly, tearing the retina in four places, and I was rushed through the forest in the middle of the night to a specialist a couple of hundred miles away. I've now had a total of five surgeries in that eye, and my face is a bit funny looking. But, hey, my face has a certain kind of character to it..

I'm not the type to sue, the surgeon didn't mean to do that, and he told me it was because of my underlying condition, retinitis pigmentosa (stable for years now), which can make the zonules slippery (or something). I wouldn't have sued anyway, but let's say I wasn't happy.

A year later I moved to New Mexico and immediately connected with the University Hospital here, and with the main eye doctor, who is easily one of the best docs I've ever had in a long lifetime. I told him about the zonules business, and he waved his hand and said the polite equivalent of bullshit. Ah well, at least I'm back with a swell surgeon. He got rid of the cataract in the "good" eye, and as the surgery was winding up, he and the crew started to sing along with the music he had had on during the surgery... he knew how I was afraid the same might happen on that eye too, no matter how reassuring he was.
I've told that story before, sorry for the repetition, but this thread reminded me..

Anyway, Boomer, I'm glad you and the practice have figured out what was going on. And now I remember about your arm too.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 May, 2016 01:49 pm
For the future, have you thought about adding your middle or maiden name to the name you have on file?

0 Replies
 
mwinslow
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Sep, 2016 02:53 pm
@boomerang,
Pretty concerned. It's the fastest growing type of identity theft in the US. I actually just read an article on this yesterday and that it's causing havoc to people's medical profiles. What's really annoying about it, is after you become a victim and it's proven that it wasn't you receiving medical treatment, it still won't come off your record. I don't get that......
0 Replies
 
 

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