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24 February 2010 @ 11:28 am
Why is it . . .  
That every time you go to the doctor, they give you a brand-new patient information form to fill out, rather than giving you a printout or copy of the previous one with instructions to make any changes necessary?

Actually, I suspect the reason is that most people, if given a copy and told to make changes, would not read carefully. But it's still annoying.
 
 
 
laurareylaurarey on February 24th, 2010 05:50 pm (UTC)
I suspect that it releases them from a degree of liability. If you filled it out again, they know for sure that you actually looked at the form. If they give you a previously completed form, even if you have to sign it, most people probably wouldn't actually read it.
Buddha Buckblaisepascal on February 24th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
It must differ from office to office. When I go to the doctor, they ask for my name, and then a bunch of questions: "Do you still live at [address]?, Is your phone still [phone]?, Do you still work for [employer]?, Do you have the same insurance? Do you have your card? (takes card and visually check against what's on screen)? Have a seat and a nurse will call you shortly."

The only bit of paperwork I fill out is the signature on the credit card slip.


Edited at 2010-02-24 06:03 pm (UTC)
Adrian Turtleadrian_turtle on February 24th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, my doctor's office does the same thing. Not every time, but I think twice in the 10 years I've been going there, they asked, "is your emergency contact still [name]?" which I thought was a great idea. Who thinks of that? But once I wanted to change it from my mother to my best friend who lives locally, and the other time I wanted to change her phone number.
Violet Tigress: comfortviolet_tigress1 on February 24th, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
To waste paper
Jim Hetleyjhetley on February 24th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC)
My dentist hands back the old form on subsequent appointments, with a series of little boxes on the back for me to initial and date each time, saying I've reviewed it and made any necessary changes.

They want a new form every few years, though.
madshutterbug: RN Self Hard at Workmadshutterbug on February 24th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
It is, in fact, one of the things we (on the other side of that form) hear every. single. time.

On the one hand, we really, really want to know if things are the same or changed, particularly where allergy data is concerned.

On the other hand, for most people, it doesn't change or at least not rapidly.

On the Gripping Hand, it is the times we don't do these things that the solid excrement strikes the rotary air movement tool.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on February 24th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC)
Please believe that I would never, ever bitch at the office staff about it -- that's what LJ is for!
madshutterbug: RN Self Teachermadshutterbug on February 24th, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC)
Well, it may actually be OK to bitch at selected office staff... believe me, since we make our own pointed comments about this, I expect that they do too. *G*
Bladerunnerbldrnrpdx on February 25th, 2010 01:47 pm (UTC)
At my work, we hand out new emergency contact/any allergies?/address/any meds? forms every year to our families. Among other things, this way we have a form with only a single date on it, and there's no question about how recently it was filled out. If we had families writing over it, there might be questions about when the form was actually filled out last, along with legibility issues with scratching things out and adding new info.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on February 25th, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
That makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.
TSJAFOtsjafo on February 26th, 2010 09:01 am (UTC)
Because of wrist injuries I am unable to hand-write anymore. This comes in handy (as it were) when trying to determine the actual importance of paperwork. Many is the time a desk jockey forked over a 12 inch stack of paper with a bored "here, fill these out." At that point I'd raise my hands and inform them they would have to fill them out as I couldn't write. Invariably they would just one or two pages from the stack while saying something along the lines of "well, we really don't need those anyway."

I understand why folks want to keep things updated, I keep a dated list of all my meds and dosages, doctors, emergency contacts, etc. to hand over to my doctor (and several copies I always carry with me) at every visit because that changes and they need to know, but it doesn't change one whit the feeling I get that they haven't bothered to read what they have already.

Maggiesillymagpie on March 1st, 2010 06:23 am (UTC)
Among other things, it's probably faster to hand you a preprinted, blank form than to pull old patient information and copy it for everyone. Also, as you mentioned, there's the likelihood that people would be in a hurry and wouldn't note items that have changed.