Friday, May 07, 2010

Don't fake out the ER

In an article on the MSNBC website, JoNel Aleccia, said often people go to the ER and give a fake name or number and then if test results come back positive after they have left, the staff cannot find them to tell them.

My daughter was diagnosed with MRSA but had gone home and come back, which is when she learned the results. Never knowing could have been bad.

Not much data exists on this, but a study in 2000 showed fewer than half of 1,136 patients could be contacted using the info they gave.

Clerical error? Deliberate? Not known.

Some people fear being contacted to check their immigration status. Cellphones get disconnected. They don't want to get big bills.

Some ERs call the police to track down severe cases, others send registered letters.

One doctor said in the story that it was the patient’s fault—he had responsibility to give accurate information. So don’t count on these doctors turning in House or Dr Welby and chasing you down.

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