I’ve sworn up and down to anyone that will listen that I won’t complain or whine about this, but its still bothering me a lot. A lot.
I had an MRI done of my spine and hips two weeks ago. I called my doctors office on the monday after the scan, asking them to please have the Physicians Assistant (PA) call me as soon as the report was available and to please fax or email a copy of the report as well. I was told, no problem, we will give the PA the message and have him call you.
Well, a week goes by without any word from the office or the PA.
By Monday, I had enough. In the past, it wasn’t a problem to get a copy of any medical report- blood work, x-rays, cat-scans, the MRI I had done two months before. I have photographs from my hip scope (5x7 glossies!) for pete’s sake!
I would like to think i’m not a neurotic patient, but I like to have copies of my medical reports. I figure that since i’m paying for them, I might as well have some kind of proof, right?
So, Monday, I gave a call to the radiology department of the hospital that had done the MRI. After being transferred twice, I was told that I could not have a copy of my own report, but that if I waited ten minutes, that I could call my referring doctors office and they would have the report.
I dutifully set my iPhone timer for ten minutes, then waited.
I made it to nine minutes before I called. Again, I was told the PA would call me to discuss the MRI and to get me scheduled.
“Scheduled for what?” I thought to myself. For each of the above tests (minus the surgery, which was discussed in a lovely follow up appointment a week post-op), I was given results over the phone, no questions asked.
So, a few hours later, the PA FINALLY calls.
PA:”Lets get you scheduled for your appointment to go over the MRI.”
Me:”I have to have an appointment to go over the results?”
PA: “Yes. Doctor sees patients on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons only. We can get you in next Wednesday.”
Me (thinking about how its only Monday): “Fine, Wednesday it is. In the meantime, can you fax me my MRI report?”
PA:”You need to fill out a medical release form.”
Me:”Fine. Can you fax it or email it?”
Me (trying not to get even more upset): “Are you kidding?”
PA: “No, I can have the form mailed to you, or you can come to the office and fill it out. But its going to be faster if you just wait until your appointment.”
Me (trying not to completely lose it): “Fine.”
My problems with this:
-Why can’t the PA read the report to me over the phone?
-Why can’t the doctor read the report over the phone?
-Why has every other medical provider provided me with my results over the phone and had no problem giving me copies of my films, scans, reports? Hell, i’ve walked out of at least two MRI’s carrying my own films!
-God forbid, if there is something really really and truly wrong with me, WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME WAIT WEEK AND A HALF TO FIND OUT?????
-And, above all else, why are hospitals and doctors switching to electronic charting if they won’t let you fill out an electronic release form??