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When Medical Results Get Switched?

After a few weeks of cleaning from the wreckage typhoon Ondoy has given us, physical pain on the lower back troubled Nanay (my mother). At first, she can tolerate and endure the pain. Thinking that it could be just a minor muscle pain from all the walks and cleanings she did, it would just go away when she give it a rest or a few rubs of liniment. Sad to say, just a couple of weeks ago, she decided to go to a doctor for a checkup. We feared that her kidney stones could have returned again but after a few more tests, her kidney is cleared BUT when the Xray results came in a bone somewhere near her pelvic area was sort of mislocated.

My mom has Scoliosis for the record. It’s pretty obvious recently because her right should blade seems to be bulging out more through out the years. She not much of a milk or dairy fan. Then after the doctor explained to her the result. She admitted that she did carry some stuff during the cleanign period that could have caused the bone misalignment/damage.

My mom is 69 years old. Doctor’s advice, look for a hospital that do Bone Densitometry.

Thanks to technology (Google to be exact) I was able to locate a hospital (Delos Santos Medical Hospital) that provides that service. Called them up, asked for details and the fee for the service. True enough, this hospital was mentioned not to charge that much for hospital and medical services compared to other private hospitals. I’m glad that they provide these kinds of services but I have a little bit of doubt since I heard before that in this hospital happened a baby switching mishap. But I was also advised that it has teamed up with STI school which provides some “new” technology approach for the hospital, so I guess it’s worth a try since it’s near and accessible since my mom will be coming from our province. Last week my mom went there to have the service and was asked to come back a couple of days after to get the result.

Come weekend, my usual schedule to go home to the province to rest and be with my parents. My mom showed to me that the last page of her bone densitometry test was not hers. Well, true enough it’s not her because it’s not her name nor her other details (like age, weight, date of test and physician’s name) but they both have the same surname that might have been the cause of confusion.

So just this morning, I called up the hospital to ask what happened. The moment I mentioned that there’s a mistake on the results released, the woman on the other line seemed mum for a few seconds before she asked for the details. They told me to come back and get the results but it’s a hassle for me or my mom. I told them can they just email it since the results were “computerized” (though my friend said I should demanded that they send a copy via courier). They said they’d come back to be within the day and gave them my mobile number.

I was giving myself until 3PM today before I call up again. But just a few minutes ago, they called up and explained that the 3rd and last page is not part of the indicated test results on the first page. They just took a photo of my mom’s spine from the side, no readings from it. It gave me the impression that it’s not needed but for my peace of mind I asked that they provide my mom’s file (of course we would like to have a file of it with my mother’s name and details on that sheet of paper). Within 30 minutes they emailed me copy.

I’m not bad-mouthing the hospital. In fact I’m kind of glad they expanded their services and fees are not that jacked up compared to other private hospitals. I admit too that we have our faults as well so here are the lessons learned that I hope you guys will take considerations also:

1) As much as you can, do accompany your friend, family member or relative specially if you know they are a bit on the senior age. I admit that I am at fault that I didn’t go with my mom. But I heard my brother was with her when she got the result. I believe being with someone when you go to hospitals or do medical checkups somehow helps ease the “tensions” or even mistakes like this. It’s also good to know what’s happening, what’s the test is all about and what is the result. Honestly, my mom is quite annoyed at me when I asked her what the doctor said. She could explained it to me… but I guess I’ll be forgiven (somehow) when she hears that I got the switched result.

2) Check the results. Double check (triple if you like). Though we non-medical practitioners may not understand what it says on the results, at least we know how to read. We know our name (or the name of the person you are accompanying) and other details. In this way, you can avoid much hassles like going back and taking the waiting queue again. Less hassle and time wasted. Because of what happened my mom had to wait a day or 2 for her back and waist/hip brace to be done/measured.

3) Be nice to others and communicate with courtesy. Well, if anyone from the said hospital is reading this blog entry, sorry if I raised my voice a bit :( though at times it works when you raise voice to get their attention but I still prefer 9and it’s really BETTER) talking and explaining in a modulated way. I have to admit if my personal deadline (the 3PM mentioned above) did come, well, let’s leave it to your imagination ;) But kudos to the medical staff (Mylene or was it Michelle?) who called me up, explained and responded to my request. I consider that a fast action. I just hope your hospital won’t commit another mishap (may it be like this or the baby switching insident).

If I’m asked if we’ll take medical services in the same hospital again, yes, why not. They corrected their mistake and so far the result is accurate. I’m pleased they responded immediately.

Not my mom's spine but the REAL image (in bone densitometry test) is sort of like this

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2009 in Realizations, Recommendation

 

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