Friday, January 22, 2010

Mission: Impossible

Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to make sure Miss Banana's medical records from all the various doctors in Nebraska make it to the new Dr. TennesseeHearts.

Phone Call #1 to Dr. SouthernKids Office
I called Dr. SouthernKids' office this morning to find out more about Dr. TennHearts and to schedule the missed 9-month checkup.  We schedule the check-up for Feb. 1st, but Dr. SouthernKids' receptionist has no idea who Dr. TennHearts is and transfers me to the nurse's voicemail.  I leave a message and wait.

Fifeteen minutes later (faster then expected) the nurse calls:

Phone Call #2 from Dr. SouthernKids' Office
Nurse: You'll have to call the 1-800 number. 
Me: Ok, can you tell me where I need to go for the appointment?
Nurse: No.  Just that it's in The City.
Me: Ok, can I get the doctor's first name?
Nurse: I'm not sure what it is, you'll have to call the 1-800 number.
Me: Fine.

Hang up phone, set it down, feed Miss Banana two more bites of breakfast.

Phone Call #3 from Dr. SouthernKids's Office

Nurse: That might not be the right number, try this one instead.
Me: Oookkayy. (Praying that Dr. TennHearts actually exists and that the appointment I have been waiting 4 months for will actually occur and once again doubting the competancy of the medical staff here.)

Phone Call #4 to Dr. TennHearts:
Automated System--lists the names of cities that Dr. TennHearts visits--The City I was told to go to is not listed.  Great.

Push 1.  Push 5. Push 0.  Listen to elevator music and commercials about how wonderful Dr. TennHearts' hospital is.  Push 0 again.  Finally, a real person.

Me: Does Dr. TennHearts' have a clinic in The City?
Lady: um, I don't know, let me check (more elevator music)
Lady: How do you spell that?
Me: T-H-E-C-I-T-Y (panicking...Miss B REALLY REALLY needs to go back to a Heart Doctor, please let this appointment be real!)
Lady: One moment.  (more elevator music)

Lady: Yes.  Dr. TennHearts goes there once a month. (Relief!) You need to have Miss B's medical records sent to the home office so Dr. TennHearts will know all the medical history before the appointment.
Me: Which ones?
Lady: All of them.

Phone Call #5 to Dr. Heart in Nebraska
This was definately the best call of the morning--I said who I was, the receptionist remembered me, remembered Miss B and even remembered where we moved too.  I was impressed.  I gave her the fax number and other info, asked her to make a special note on the cover sheet about Miss B being seen in The City instead of the home office.  She said she would have it there within the half-hour.

I love the people in that office!

Phone Call #6 to Dr. HeartSurgeon in Nebraska

Me: I need Miss B's medical records sent to Dr. TennHearts.
Receptionist: You need to talk to the hospital, not our office.

Phone Call #7 to Children's Hospital
Me: I need Miss B's medical records sent to Dr. TennHearts
Receptionist: You need to talk to Dr. HeartSuregeon's office.
Me: I just did, they said to talk to you.
Receptionist: Well, they shouldn't have.  I guess I can send you what I have, but if you want it all,  you'll have to talk to Medical Records.

Phone Call #8 to Children's Hospital Medical Records
Me: I need Miss B's medical records sent to Dr. TennHearts.
Receptionist: I can't give you those.
Me: I don't want them; I want them sent to Dr. TennHearts.
Receptionist: The nurse has to call and request them, I can't send them just because you ask.  We keep those records private.
Me: (Losing patience) Um, they are MY daughter's records.  Can't I choose where they get sent?
Receptionist: No.  The doctor has request them.  

Phone Call #9 to Dr. TennHearts

Push 1. Push 5. Push 0. Listen to elevator music and commercials about how wonderful Dr. TennHearts' hospital is. Push 0 again. Finally, a real person.

Me: I need you to request the records, they won't send them simply because I ask.
Receptionist:  We can't make a request until we have all of your information.
Me: Ooookkay...(gives physical address, mailing address, insurance info, SSN, phone numbers, Dr. C's SSN, Dr. C's work #, Dr. C's work address (??? why do they need that??), Dr. HeartSurgeon's office and fax #'s, Dr. Heart's office and fax#'s, Children's Hospital office/fax #'s, etc.)
Receptionist: Okay, I'll leave a message for the nurse to take care of it.
Me: (Grateful.) Thank you.

At this point, after all the phone calls and hold music and run around, Miss B has been in her high chair eating breakfast for about an hour and fifeteen minutes.  I get her out, get the kiddos dressed and leave to run errands.

Phone Call #10 from Dr. TennHeart's Office, on voicemail
Nurse: I called Children's Hospital to request the records, but a receptionist named Bev said she has already printed them off and is mailing them to you, so they won't fax them since she has already printed them off.  So just bring those with you to the appointment next week and that should be fine.  Thanks!

What the Heck???  I have no idea who "Bev" is and why is she sending them to me after being told that I couldn't have them???   And I didn't give "Bev" our new address, which means that Miss B's records will be sent to our Nebraska address and then forwarded to us down here--so who knows if they will get here in time (or at all???) for the appointment next week.

So will Miss B's records be here or in The City next week?  Will I have to make another zillion phone calls and not actually accomplish anything?

Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion to Mission: Impossible.


The Mussertons said...

Ugh!!! Here is hoping it all gets squared away for Miss B. Just what you need to worry about. You are the second person in as many weeks to complain about getting medical records from Childrens....

Wilkerson Family said...

Hopefully the records come. How frustrating. I hate it when you have to make 50 phone calls to get something that should be simple completed. Good Luck!

Sasha said...

Wow. Your phone calls so remind me of my life right now. You sound like you held your patience very well through all of that. What I do is find out who does a really good job and always keep them in mind when doing things. I think all that you did could be listed as a zillion skills on a resume:). Multi tasking, negotiating, organizing, information gathering, researching. Sometimes it's all so crazy isn't it. Hope the records get there on time.

Bethany said...

LOL OMG! Sounds so familiar! It is so ridiculous!

Kate said...

That's why you should move back to Nebraska :) better heart doctors' offices!! And we miss you...:)

Kristen said...

I shouldn't have been laughing...but I was. Sound soo familiar...we went through the same thing and when we got to the office I asked about if the doctor got the medical records we were supposed to send, and he said,"The what? Oh yeah that's fine" and proceeded to ask me a question about everything that was in there, indicating he hadn't even given them a glance. Of all the things that can drive a mom to insanity, it's sad when the healthcare system is the culprit. Hang in there--it'll get better I'm sure.

Heidi said...

Oh my, how frustrating! Wouldn't it be nice if everyone knew what they were talking about & if we could talk to real people without having to sit on hold forever? Good luck with the appointment!

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