Tammy

Lack Of Communication Between Physicians

22 posts in this topic

Hello again everyone. As most all of you know I am going next month to the rheumatologist for CREST tests and to see if I can't get something more done for my Raynauds. I went Monday and picked up some medical records that I was asked to take to my appointment and of course I had to look over them. :unsure: On the endoscopy that the surgeon did on my stomach he noted that I have antritis without the presence of H-pylori and recommended that I not use asprin or nsaids, I knew nothing of this and primary care physician but me back on Feldene a few weeks ago for the arthritis in my hips. I am also having to go see an endocrinologist next month and if I can't keep 2 dr's on the "same page" how do you handle 3 or 4? It seems that I can't keep track of much anymore (I had to turn over the bill paying to my husband because I was forgetting stuff every month...lol). How in the world do you all do it?

 

 

Best wishes to all~~ Tammy

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Hi Tammy,

 

I see a Rheumatologist at a Hospital and all of my other specialists are there too.

I found it much easier and convenient as they are all at the same place!

 

If my rheumatologist needs to speak to another specialist they are usually are all within easy reach of one another.

 

I also have all of the necessary test done at the hospital as well.

 

Earlier on in my diagnosis of Scleroderma I was seeing a rheumatologist in private practice, I felt as though I was driving all over the place for tests and she wasn't very communicative which made things harder.

 

This is why I transferred to the hospital.

 

Take care

Celia :D

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Managing multiple doctors is a challenge. One idea is to keep a copy of all your doctors notes & tests. Some use notebooks for this. I prefer electronic copies through the use of a scanner. I also make a journal if you will dictating what the doctor's said to me, my treatments, follow ups and any symptoms I might be feeling. That way when a doctor asks how long have you been feeling this way I can give them a date rather than guessing because I never remember. (I never remember anything...)

 

Doctors have a lot going and I've found that a gentle reminder is good now and again.

 

peanut


You can deprive the body but the soul needs chocolate

my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

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It is sad isn't it?

 

I take care of all of it myself. After each medical appt. I have, within a week I call back to the Medical Records department and have them fax me the notes and labs for that day. Then I fax them to the nurse of all my other doctors. It's the only thing that has worked for me.


Warm and gentle hugs,

 

Pamela

ISN Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Hi Sweet,

I went to the medical records department at the hospital where I see all of my specialists. They told me to gain access to any of my records ,I had to fill out a form, pay $22.00 for registration and only then would they give me any copies of any test results that I needed.

 

I was not prepared to pay $22.00 and left very frustrated!

 

You are lucky that you were able to gain access so easily.

 

Take care

Celia

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As a patient, everyone has access to their medical records. Most clinics won't charge a patient for a copy of their own record, especially if you just get one or two pages a time like I do. I make sure I ask for it fairly quickly after each visit so they don't have to copy a book.

 

If you've never had a copy of your record they may charge you at first, but hopefully afterwards they won't. Again all clinics are different. I think it also helps that I'm in the business.


Warm and gentle hugs,

 

Pamela

ISN Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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I have become very aware that my general practitioner has stepped up to the plate and taken a very active role in my condition. He had called the rheumatologist and told her she was not taking an aggressive approach to my condition. In addition, he has begun to check up on me to see is I've been to required tests and procedures. He states this is not his specialty, but he seems to be trying his best to make sure I do what is necessary regarding tests and follow ups with other physicians. In today's world, I find his concern a very comforting asset. Few doctors, if any, remain with that type of dedication to individual patients.


Tru

 

It is what it is...........

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Tru - Good for your general practitioner! It's always nice to have one of your doctors step up and take the lead.

 

Like Celia, all my doctors are with the same hospital but because of reorganization, they are now at different locations across the city. Thank goodness for computers. My rheumatologist is my lead and I see him every 6 - 8 weeks. I go in with a list of things to discuss and if I've seen another doctor or taken another test, it's on the list. He always looks up the notes from the other doctor's visit or test results. In other words - my rheumatologist is always keeping up with what's going on in all areas. If he sees that I falling behind on a test, he'll schedule it, then I'll make an appointment with the respective specialist. It works quite well.

 

Oh - all my other doctors know that the rheumatologist is the lead so they don't prescribe any additional drug without letting the rheumatologist know.

 

Big Hugs,


Janey Willis

ISN Support Specialist

(Retired) ISN Assistant Webmaster

(Retired) ISN News Director

(Retired) ISN Technical Writer for Training Manuals

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Tammy,

###### I never really tried to get all the info to all the doctors. I do however get copies of all of my labs and tote them all from appointment to appointment. I ask the nurse to make and keep copies of all of the labs that they dont have already.

 

After every procedure or appt. I ask to have copies of it faxed to the rheumatologist. I have noticed that sometimes this doesn't get done.....

 

I wish that I had started doing what Sweet does...boy you have it together! I think that it really does help that you are in the bizz and already know which loop-holes to avoid.


*WestCoast*

 

********

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Ced,

 

I just read something lately that was a surprise to me. If you are in the United States, the Privacy Laws, HIPPA (can't remember what it stands for), state that all patients may have copies of their medical records free. (or something like that)

 

I believe it said they were allowed to charge the actual cost of making you copies, but not some whopping big bill.

 

The funny thing was that my 90-year-old father and I had just asked his eye clinic for a copy of his records to give to the Veteran's Administration and they were going to chage us for that, until they realized it was for the VA or they realized he was a veteran (or both). It turned out, Veterans get their records free. But, apparently, he didn't have to be a veteran to get free (or cheap) copies because the HIPPA law requires it. I plan to look that up and I'll post it on here, but in case I don't (I've been having trouble getting into this site, for some reason!) you can look it up. Just do a search and ask for HIPPA.

 

 

 

Mary in Texas

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Thanks so much for the replies and advice.

 

I would love to have all of my physicians in one palce but when you live in a rural area that is very difficult. The few specialists that we did have close to this area have almost all transferred their practices to the northern part of the state where the population is booming. The rheumatologist that I am going to see on the 4th is over 2 hours away and the endocrinologist is even further in the opposite direction (I am going to Tulsa for the endo, she specializes in pituitary dysfunction), my pc is in the town that I work in but I just found out that she is having a baby and will be going out on maternity leave in about 6 or 7 months. I thought about changing the rheumatologist to one in Tulsa as well but it has taken so long to get in to see this one that I really hate to change and have to wait again.

 

Most of the physicians reoprts that I have had to get to take to the rheumatologist were free for the first report but I had to pay my ob/gyn $25 for his. I think that I will try keeping a journal for each physician and have decided that if they tell me something that I don't understand...ASK!

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Hi Tammy,

 

I know what you are saying. I have been fairly successful in managing communication between by my doctors as I take ownership of the communication. For every visit to a doctor, I always have written list of issues, latest list of medications, and a list of my doctors. I also include any updates to my record from any of my dozen doctors. Whenever I go for any tests, I always ask them to mail me a copy of the results and also keep a copy of doctors’ notes. I continue to update my medical records continuously and it has now grown to over 300 pages.

 

If I have an issue which involves multiple doctors like Rheumatologist, Pulmonary specialist, GI specialist and/or my general practitioner, I document the issue in a great detail and fax it to all involved doctors. I do extra efforts to get everyone involved, but by doing this it becomes their responsibility to respond back to me or talk among themselves before coming to an agreement.

 

Our health issues are our responsibility and everyone needs to find what works for them. I have been fairly successful with above technique.


Kind regards,

 

Kamlesh

 

 

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Kamlesh, thank you for the tips! Most of the dr's that I am currently seeing will provide their dictations to each other but at this point I don't know who is paying attention to what! All of the blood tests that I have had done in the past year have a low Bun and the latest has low Bun and low BUN/ creatinine ratio, so low that it would already put me in a stage 2 of chronic kidney damage, no one ever mentioned any of this to me so needless to say not one of the dr's are even checking it periodically... but there it is in the medical records! I am planning on bringing all of this up to the rheumatologist next month even though I have no clue if it is at all realtive to this but you have all tought me that being my own advocate is the absolute best thing that I can do for myself and I can not thank you all enough for all the help that you have given me over the last couple of months!!

 

 

Big Hugs to You All!!!

 

Tammy

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Tammy,

 

I have developed knowledge about what to look for kidney and liver functions. I have go for blood test every 4-6 weeks as I have standing order for blood work along with request to receive copy every time. I normally get blood report in 48 hours and look for any areas outside range. For PFT, I maintain a spreadsheet for each quarter’s result. Any thing out of ordinary, I discuss with my rheumatologist or pulmonary specialist.


Kind regards,

 

Kamlesh

 

 

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