Over the past weeks, I have attended eight different medical appointments with my friend. At each, we were handed the infamous clipboard, seven pages of questions, asking about the same medical history. It takes time and emotional energy, causing angst, frustration, fear and anxiety.

To ask the same questions, print the same forms, hire someone to enter the same data and someone else to review it all costs money – thus, one reason for rising health care costs.

Nuts! Patients are anxious enough, but to be asked over and over, “Well, what about this?” and “What about your grandmother?” and “Do you feel pain here or there?” is ludicrous and insensitive. Also, no one looks at it; rather, someone is behind a screen just entering the information.

In this day of electronics, surely let me sign one form that says you can share all information with all providers; stop asking me again and again to give you the same answers to the same questions. Privacy is a hoax. They send MRIs, PET scans, X-rays and more electronically – that is my information, too. Surely they can find the right form for the patient to sign so one can fill out the info ONE time with a primary care provider and then share it with others.

Wait a minute! That would save time and money. We can’t do that! Stop! I will refuse to answer the questions until you decide what is really “in the best interest of the patient.”

The answer: Reduce the stress of an already difficult visit. Care about the patient. Stop putting me on hold for 15 minutes with some automated voice saying, “The next representative will be with you shortly.”

Chewy.com has a live person answer my call and knows my data, too. My physician needs to do the same and more.

Rosemarie De Angelis

South Portland

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