I thought it would be quicker to ask on social media than to try to find the information on my HMO’s clunky website, or calling and attempting to reach someone in the department directly.
I Tweeted out a basic question:
Can I schedule an x-ray?
And the text above is the response I received, a day later after sending another email through their crazy secure messaging system.
All I asked was a yes/no question.
I know HIPPA is a good thing – privacy and all that. But I spend my work life looking for answers to questions and it frustrates me when the safeguards put in place for privacy put barriers in front of getting information.
How many patients give up, once they can’t get the needed information in a medium they use? How many never bother to take the next step?
I will call or hunt around the web tomorrow, because my feet and legs hurt too much to not do something.
But I don’t like encountering barriers to getting the information I’m seeking.
A more coherent post will follow…but here’s the Tweeted digest version of my weekend talking healthcare change, chronic illness and tech.
When you are at the NIH Clinical Study for a Natural History Study, your healthcare life is pretty darn good (well, besides the fact that you have medical stuff going on that landed you there in the first place!)
Every doctor you see in the course of your study protocol is an expert. Every doctor you see knows your rare disorder. Every doctor you see is interested in you and your overall health – not just their specialty.
One can get quite spoiled.
That’s all the preface to my newest medical slight debacle: I refuse to start a new treatment for a newly-diagnosed condition without seeing a specialist first. Like… on what planet does that make sense for patients?! Do people actually agree to that?!
I know I feel icky. I know my thyroid numbers were weird. But that’s the extent of my knowledge… and there’s no way I’m blindly starting a new-to-me medicine without at least seeing a doctor! <ends big over dramatic sigh>
I fear (but also love) that the NIH has thoroughly spoiled me. I deserve it. Everyone does.