It’s A Matter Of Record That They Don’t Update Their Records

, , , , | Healthy | August 31, 2018

(I am a medical assistant and a large part of my day is getting patients into rooms and asking all of the questions before a doctor sees them. This scenario happens far too often:)

Me: “Okay, let’s go over your med list.”

Patient: “It’s all up to date.”

Me: “I know we do this at every visit, but we do it to make sure there aren’t duplicates or old meds that didn’t fall off.”

Patient: *with a heavy, dramatic sigh, dripping with disdainful attitude while slouching in their chair in protest* “I know it’s up to date, but okay.”

(I list one or two medications and they sigh dramatically and impatiently reply that, YES, it is one they’re taking. Some will use medical abbreviations such as PRN as if it’ll make me suddenly believe them. Then, this happens:)

Me: “[Medication]?”

Patient: *sitting up in full alert* “I’m not taking that anymore! Why is that on there?”

Me: “I couldn’t tell you, but I’ll discontinue it on your chart. When did you stop taking it?”

(The patient now usually gives some date preceding at least two appointments in our clinic, and usually because the patient decided to stop taking it or an outside provider advised the change, not something we would know unless they tell us. Usually at this point the patient’s attention becomes devoted to correcting this grave error as if we are just randomly inserting old medications for grins and giggles. I’ve only ever had one acknowledge that his attitude should probably change regarding his contributions to the accuracy of his medical records.)

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