Going to the hospital always frustrates me but it is an opportunity to watch – people and processes, communication and clues on culture.
I’m actually writing this sat patiently in the waiting area – we have just been told the clinic is running more than an hour late. So I watch people come and people go.
Last time I was here I wrote a blog about information governance, about how, when you arrive in clinic, you have to declare all your personal details to the full waiting room. I did give them this feedback by the way and I also recognize the challenges in the clinic area. Today the same ritual continues.
[pause – I’ve been in to see the doctor who was lovely. But I’m back for another wait…. so I continue…..]
I am not sure that declaring your personal identifiable information in public is best IG culture.
The next thing made me smile. A man with a big trolley arrives in the clinic. The trolley is piled with notes – over it is a sheet. He gallantly throws it back to reveal and remove a set of notes. Then back again when he is done. Either he is keeping the dust off or he is trying to protect them from view. I gaze on as people adjacent to him continue to declare their full name, address, date of birth and GP including the GPs address!
Meanwhile I overhear someone near me, after seeing the man with the notes tell a story: ‘eeee*’ says the lady to her (assumed) daughter: ‘you will never guess what they told me about my notes?’ The daughter asks for more information. She continues ‘they parceled mine up into a brown paper bag and sealed it with tape when I was going for my scan. I asked them why. They are MY notes after all. She told me they sealed them so I couldn’t open them as they could charge me £15 to look at my notes. This was to stop me looking at them!’
I listen and I watch and I despair.
Nothing really ever changes very much.
I’m being called again…..
*’eeeee’ is a Yorkshire expression that preceeds an interesting fact!
Same thing used to happen on the other side of the Pennines as well and possibly still does. When I was still under the care of the breast cancer consultant, checking in at the clinic always began with the receptionist loudly asking me for my name, DOB and address, her voice filling every square inch of the hushed waiting room. I meant to complain but I guess my head was filled with other things at the time.
It really is a nonsense their patient identifiable information is demanded from the individual in a public area for all to hear.
Loved the picture of the ‘well baby clinic’ BTW.
I recently had to have new tyres fitted and the credit card machine wasn’t working so they had to ring through to the main branch for me to give my details over the phone. The young lad (who looked about 12) serving me took me in another area so that I wasn’t announcing my details to the crowded waiting room. Ever hopeful!
At the Whittington there is a huge check in desk well away from waiting area for IG reasons.
Hi Fenella – yes I think environment is a critical factor!
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