Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another Error In My Medical Records

ARGGG!!! I can't get to Mayo soon enough! My doctor's office was finally able to track down my EEG results from mid-May that the hospital couldn't be bothered to just send over like they were supposed to. I've blogged about this before. Today I drove up to my neurologist's office to pick up a prescription and a copy of my EEG results to take with me to Mayo since it arrived after she had forwarded the rest of my history. Anyway, I gave it a once over just to see what it said and it reported that I have a family history of epilepsy.


What I have is a sister who had ONE seizure. I even told the woman specifically that the cause was never determined and it was an isolated incident. This is not the first time, the second time, or even the twentieth time that I've found big errors in my medical records since leaving the medical haven in Rochester. I don't know if it's poor listening skills, or poor recording/note taking skills but it is far too common and unacceptable. These are medical records. They are important for many reasons and I shouldn't have to explain that to anyone who is responsible for putting information in them.

Finding so many errors makes me wonder how many more errors are in my records that I would never be able to recognize. I've caught errors about what medications I'm on, what symptoms I have, what treatments I've had, what surgeries I've had, my medical history, family medical history, and demographic information. And that in less than 4 years. I have to assume if they are so careless with all this information that they are equally as careless with the more complex information that I can't identify like test results and such. I guess that's what is most disturbing about all of this. I won't ever know how many errors are in my medical records.

In an effort to prevent this I am adopting a Put It In Writing policy for myself. I will keep a written record of all my important information so that I can take it to whatever office I may be visiting. It has a list of my diagnosis, drugs/doses I'm on and what I take them for (some I take for off label reasons), all my demographic information, emergency contact, operations, and my insurance information. I've been working on an additional one for the Gyn visits with graphs and information about my periods (I'm still tracking in hopes of having a baby one day).

All of this would not have prevented this latest error but hopefully I can at least prevent some of the other more serious errors. This is simply largely out of my control - and that scares me some and angers me some.

1 comment:

  1. I've had a similar experience!! Can you bellieve it!! I'm an RN & it is said, "if it isn't written down, it didn't happen." I guess it's the human factor. In my experience, many healthcare team members are sloppy, burntout & disinterested, but they're frequently appalled when their personal medical records are incorrect!! It drives me nuts but it's nice to know it's not just me!! Happy 4th to you too!