Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mighty peculiar

I recently mentioned to Cliff that I needed to call the cardiologist group and set up his yearly appointment for December.  Even though our family doctor sees Cliff at least once every three months, the heart guy is supposed to keep tabs on him too.

So the other day we received a letter that started with "Dear Clifford...".

Then this:

"We are reminding you that it is time for your FOLLOW-UP VISIT."

Oh good.  They send reminders.  With my track record, that can be very helpful.

There was a phone number to call.  At the bottom of the letter were eight doctors' names.  Cliff's doctor wasn't among them, and I assumed he'd moved on.

As I was dialing the number, I realized, by the area code, that this was a Kansas number.  Hmmm.  Maybe they have somebody else in a different office doing the scheduling.

A lady answered, and I told her I needed to set up an appointment.  Before she could get to the task, though, I saw the address given for these doctors on the letterhead:  Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

"Ma'am," I said, telling her what I'd just noticed, "my husband has never been to a doctor in Kansas."

"Is his birthday 06/16/19__?"


"We have him as a patient in our system.  His last visit was in 2001."

"But my husband's heart problem wasn't diagnosed until 2006.  And I assure you, Shawnee Mission is so far from us, there's no way we'd forget being there."

The lady agreed it was strange, and couldn't imagine what had caused the confusion.  I thanked her for her time, and told her I was going to call Cliff's real cardiologist group, in Independence, Missouri, to set up his appointment.

When the lady in that office answered, I said, "Is it too early to set up a follow-up appointment for my husband in December?"

"No, it isn't," she said pleasantly.  She asked his name and birth-date, then said  "Did we send you a letter to remind you?"

"Well," I answered, "Somebody did.  But it was from a group in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, where he's never been a patient."

I explained to her how they had Cliff in their system... address, birth date and all... even though he'd never been there.

She was as baffled as I.

So Cliff got his reminder letter at the proper time, but from the wrong doctors (doctors  he's never heard of).

I'll be scratching my head over this for a long time.

Have I ever mentioned how uncomfortable it makes me when doctors get their wires crossed?


geocachelinda66 said...

That is very strange...  Linda

pixiedustnme said...

Hmm, very interesting.  And what would the odds be that two people with the same name have the same birthday?  Probably one of those things nobody will ever know.

mutualaide said...

Maybe the group(s) use a service and the data files got mixed up and then corrected?  Weird indeed.  But hey, at least Cliff was reminded!  

I worry a bit too when docs get wired crossed.  Always hope the wires aren't mine.  :)

siennastarr said...

That is weird... and I can relate to the crossed wires, where doctors are concerned!  That kind of makes me a bit uncomfortable as well!


tendernoggle said...

wow Mosie...that is strange....just hope that now that htey have your address that they don't start sending you bills...:-(
love ya,

ryanagi said...

Hmm. My guess is their records systems are linked somehow and Cliff's record wasn't tagged properly and ended up in both systems (and maybe a few others too). I'm not too familiar with hospital networks and scheduling/billing software, but it is technically possible.

csandhollow said...


luvmort said...

That's very strange.  How could they have his info so far away?  Sounds odd to me.

randlprysock said...

That is very peculiar indeed.... hope you are having a great day!
Lisa : )

suzypwr said...

I wonder if they are using a service to send out the letters, and the service used the wrong letterhead? Very odd - but the important thing is that the appointment has been made!