Friday, February 8, 2013
Gerald has a cold. He couldn't get in to see his doctor quickly; he decided to go to the Adena Clinic. I did some shopping while he was being treated. After awhile I sat down in the waiting area. A young woman came into the Clinic with her mother and three children trailing behind. She was cradling her hand in her other hand. I asked if she wanted to sit down and she answered that she needed to "pace". I asked her if she'd injured her hand and she said it was burned. She showed the hand to me and there was a large burn and blister. She stood there for at least 10 minutes and then the "MA" Maria came out and asked, "Who's next?" I pointed to the burn victim and said, emphatically, "SHE'S IN PAIN!" The MA said, flippantly, "We all are." I said, "NO, WE AREN'T; I'M NOT, YOU'RE NOT, AND THEY'RE NOT!" I couldn't believe her unprofessional behavior; it was very unseemly, inappropriate and cheeky.
She began asking the woman questions and now I know these items about the patient:
1. the woman's name
2. her birth date
3. her address
4. her insurance company's name
5. the fact that she's been a patient there previously
I have no "right to know" those things. With the information I heard, I could probably have gotten into her banking account or burglarized her home!
After the MA escorted the woman to the inner office, she returned and said, "Your husband asked if you were out here waiting for him and I told him that you said that he should get out here right away." I had NOT said that, nor anything else to her, except about the woman's pain. Perhaps she thinks she is charming, amusing, and cute, but I find her behavior to be totally improper and crude. I have the phone number and address of the Company Headquarters in Chillicothe and I shall complain.
I am appalled by the lack of privacy at a number of places. If I had been the patient, I would have demanded privacy! I refuse to answer any of those questions in public. I refuse to put my name and any information on a sign-in sheet in public view. The rampant lack of privacy in this town is the reason that I go out of town to doctors. I've written previously about similar incidents at the local hospital and doctors. (See "The Right To Know" HERE and "Why HIPAA Is Important" HERE) My doctor's office changed their sign-in system to a number system after I complained.
At a local pharmacy, I raised so much Hell about the lack of privacy that there is now a privacy rope one must stand behind and there is a large sign to instruct people. Recently, at the pharmacy, a woman went right in front of two people who were dutifully standing in line behind the rope. I said, "Excuse me, did you NOT see the sign?" and I pointed to the sign. She said, "I just have a question." I said, "So do I, but I was here AFTER these people; they're probably sick and need to have their prescriptions filled." The woman got in line behind me. (Les keeps warning me about correcting people: "You know they might be packing heat!")
Once, Gerald and I were stranded in a snowstorm and we had to find a motel to stay; there were a great number of people in the lobby, obviously there for the same reason. Gerald and I were signing in and the desk clerk announced, "You'll be in Room Number..." and she said the room number out loud. I said, "No, I won't; I need to see the Manager!" When the Manager came, he did not seem very upset that the clerk had violated my privacy. I said, "I can't believe that she would be announcing my room number when they are STRANGERS around!" Of course, I lectured him about privacy! We received another room.
I've found that speaking up is a GOOD thing!