Monday, April 23, 2007

You Won't Believe This! More Medical Malarkey!

Remember this line: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore?"

That's me, in a nutshell.

I have just written an official letter of protest. The facility and doctors' names have been deleted to protect the guilty (and to keep from being sued)...

Medical Facility
City WA
To Whom This Should Concern (including Dr. _________ especially),

I am writing this letter to document an unbelievable, incredible story of multiple incompetencies at your place of business. I do it not to annoy you; it will be instructional if you drop all pretence to being “on top of things” and “atop your game” and learn from it. Here we go!

I was instructed to get lab work at the ________ lab on Thursday, March 8th, 2007 for Dr. ______. I arrived March 8th to find that there were no orders from either Dr Specialist or from (my PCP primary care physician), which had been faxed on March 1st from Dr Specialist's office (later verified to me by them). So I was asked to come back the next morning, with their apologies. I told them at that time that I was also due for a TSH level check, CBC, and for a check on my potassium and calcium levels and on anything else Dr. PCP) might want to have done at the same time. They said they would check with her as well and do it all at the same time the next day.

I called BOTH offices that day when I got back to work at my new job and complained to both offices, documenting that I had taken time off from a brand new job and driven in for scheduled blood work and that there were no orders for me after I got there. I received an apology from both and an assurance from my PCP's assistant/receptionist; “I will get right on it and get the orders in from both Doctors. Come in tomorrow. You will be taken care of.” Then I was told by this same person, "Oh, you have standing orders for Dr. PCP; they should have seen those and taken that blood work for you.” I told them they hadn’t. I explained to her, “The lab told me they had NO orders for blood work for me.”

When I arrived the next day I confirmed with the lab attendant that they had orders from both Dr Specialist and Dr PCP. I asked specifically, “TSH, calcium, potassium and a CBC? [for Dr PCP]. Yes, they confirmed.

I sat down and they took about four vials of blood and I brought in a urinalysis (for the second time in two days). I felt confident – with that amount of blood – that they had, indeed, filled both doctors’ orders!

A week or ten days later I called for results and was told that all the tests came back normal except for a slight anomaly in the urinalysis, but nothing to worry about.

This past week I tried to get my prescription filled. My pharmacy called and left a message stating that they couldn’t fill it… the doctor had not authorized it. The next day, Friday, I got a letter from (Medical Facility] stating that I have to come in for more blood work (despite the fact that I was just in there six weeks ago and all came back normal) and see the doctor to discuss the results.

I called this morning to ask what good it is to go for blood work when for darn tootin’ sure it will come back indicating that you need to raise my thyroid medication since I have been OFF them for four days because of the doctor’s/pharmacy’s refusal to get the meds to me? “Oh,” I was told, “we faxed those over….” “Well, my pharmacy told me they would call when the prescription was ready to be picked up after doctor authorization and they have not called.” I was told, “Maybe we faxed it to the wrong pharmacy.” Even if the prescription order had misfired, the pharmacy would have called to tell me the prescription was ready to be picked up, and none of them have. (This afternoon I have another VM from the pharmacy saying the prescription isn’t ready, although it was ready when I drove by to get it before coming home to find the message! The prescription was filled Sunday!)

So, now I have to get back on the meds, take them for a month and then go back in and have blood work done again because – according to the gal I spoke with just this morning, the March 9th blood work request did not include a test for the standing orders TSH levels!

This is actually the SHORT version of this ridiculous saga. You can read the longer version at my blog site (The March 9th entry should give you high blood pressure all by itself!) I did not name names at my website – good thing for you, huh?!

I will be changing doctors as soon as this fiasco has been resolved. Please let me know the name of a well-respected female doctor and facility in the Lakewood area, because driving to Puyallup for the level of care you are providing is patently foolish! I don’t think anyone is conscious (or conscientious) at your facility. How have I reached this conclusion? (Not on my own, surely; I am generally a most forgiving soul!) I reached this conclusion by listening!

While I was waiting in the waiting room on March 8th, I heard additional, similar stories of distress from other clients. Literally every person who came through the door during the half hour I waited to be called in (and then told they didn’t have any orders for me!) had a story of equally incompetent handling by people at your facility! Only about five people came in, but they ALL had stories. It has become clear to me that your waiting room is empty for a reason. You have lost your credibility, I’m sad to say.

I used to refer people to you. Now I am asking you to refer me to a clinic in Lakewood where I will receive proper attention and treatment – and your credibility is on the line here, too. If it isn’t a great recommendation, I will return to carry this protest further and will file an official grievance at the state level.

Kristine M Smith

P.S. I also think that the blood work I get in May and the follow-up doctor appointment should be complimentary and not charged to my insurance (which in May will switch to _______) or me, since the TSH levels were supposed to be done on March 8th/9th and were not done at that time and because I am now being taken away from my new job a third and a fourth time to play catch-up on what should all have been accomplished in March.

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Don't'cha just love it?

Dr McCoy would be appalled and heads would roll if it was HIS Sick Bay being run in this way!

1 comment:

Alison said...

Good letter. Now that's a ticking off! I hope it slaps them around the face a bit.

Good luck with it all.