Submitted for your perusal: a partial list of aggravations and traumas inflicted by “imperfections” in the healthcare system…
Note: Some fall into the “one off” category (perhaps understandable and forgivable given the system’s complexity and human imperfection). Alas, some are systemic and absolutely avoidable.
Botched blood samples.
Lost blood samples.
Incorrect tests ordered.
Correct tests never ordered.
Correct test ordered but not transmitted properly.
Appointments cancelled, postponed, rescheduled, or important appointments never scheduled at all.
Being stood up.
Telephone bingo machines.
Playing telephone tag.
Hours on the phone dealing with an administrative screw up.
Hours in a clinic dealing with an administrative screw up.
Being put on interminable hold.
Being transferred like a hot potato.
Being disconnected and having to start all over again.
The runaround from bureaucrats.
The “not my job” attitude.
Prescription foul ups.
Specialty pharmacies bought, sold, renamed, and phone numbers changed.
Having to fill out another poorly-designed medical intake and medical history form—again—and wondering if anyone even reads it.
The inability to reach a doctor because they’re hidden behind a phalanx of bureaucracy.
Time and energy spent trying to find a general practitioner who is accepting new patients and who is “within network”.
Being dropped by your GP because they’ve moved on to a different clinic or health care system.
Hospital systems that “fall” out of network without warning, yet continue to provide service as if you’re still covered, leaving you stuck with the bill.
Being treated like a “condition”, not like a human being.
Insensitive remarks from medical professionals.
Having medically-necessary imaging denied by your insurance company.
Having medically-necessary lab work denied by your insurance company.
Being undiagnosed and misdiagnosed.
Being over-tested and under-tested.
Being undermedicated and overmedicated.
Inadequate anesthesia that introduces you to pain levels greater that ten.
Jolting surprises during recovery that should have not been surprises at all and were in retrospect no need for alarm.
Medical professionals who have no business being medical professionals (for all kinds of reasons that will remain unspoken here)
Note: Although this post beats on the many things that are wrong with the healthcare system, there are also lots of things that are right about it. In particular, Frank looks forward to celebrating the competence and compassion of some real-life heroes he’s met along the way. Stay tuned.