Privacy rant

After a pleasant ride or early draining morning. Started another day in the hospital. It’s nice to say that now knowing I am not here as a patient but as a physician. This being said sometimes I find it difficult to actually continue writing. Not because I do not get to lie around all day or that I do not have worries, but because all the stories I hear and interactions I have need to be utterly protected for the patients. I found it somewhat refreshing when I was the patient to be able to talk about was going on and let other people know my situation. As the physician though have been a trusted with this information which I cannot disseminate. Even though so much of it is interesting and some of it is even entertaining. Given the fact smaller hospital and patient are here for a while until they could be too difficult to find out who I was talking about. Which in my mind raises a very interesting question about health care in general. Although the patient’s stories are there is and I don’t want to tell them occasionally my interactions with them create stories of my own but I wish I could tell. Simple interactions which turned out to be insightful to me and I think may be interesting for other people he hear I just can’t use. It makes me wonder all of our protection of information is really doing anybody any good.

I completely understand the need for some people to want to keep that information private. I can respect that. The fact that we have to be several private and so concerned about the security of patient’s information I don’t think hinders our ability to provide adequate or more importantly productive care. If the patient wants information kept secret I understand respecting that wish. It so many people in this country feel that they’re information needs to be protected and I don’t think they know exactly why. I’ve been through some fairly intimate moments in the last year and I have no problem with sharing some of them because I don’t know what anybody else would do with them maliciously. I am sure that somebody out there somewhere who would be willing to slander my name with some of these things I talked about. But in general I believe most of the people that read these posts only thinking of my best interest really. So, the surprise to me is that there is a lot of other people who don’t want that. People who don’t want to share their stories or improve and widened their support system. Also on a provider level I think of how many times in my medical career I have struggled to get information from some previous care source because they don’t believe I am from a hospital or have the right forms signed. I occasionally have to remind them aggressively that a patients care is at stake. Sometimes that works but usually I am reserved to the fact that I fill out a bunch of paperwork get a patient to sign (if they can) and then sit by a fax while technology transmits, some other human (probably doing ten other tasks) gets it, approves, and returns the needed info (hopefully, at least 25% of the time it isn’t what I asked for). I just don’t see how that is beneficial to a patient.

I also understand that in the past insurance companies may have been pilfering information to be able to better risk stratify and weed out their high users. Thanks capitalism. Yet with the affordable care act insurance companies can’t do that. I am sure they have some other way to abuse the information which is I guess why some people remain paranoid. Yet, aren’t these the same group of people who answer online quizzes, buy everything from the internet, give away their email address to craigslist, oh wait that is pretty much all of us. So we do share information but we just don’t like to talk about our health to other people. We especially do not want health care providers to know, we should make it harder for them to find it, that will improve care. Okay I flew off on a sarcastic note. I will try to refocus.

My day has gone fairly smooth. I am finishing my first full week back to being a physician. I was lucky it wasn’t too busy. I clearly do not have the energy I used to but I seem to be making it. I really enjoyed a lot of my patients this week. Being able to think and worry about some other sick people for a change was nice. Obviously my problems are still ever lingering in my mind but they are kept in check when I do not have much free time. I am getting ready to roll back through the gray Alaska day. It is starting to feel much less summery here. I know we aren’t even to labor day but the start of school, my family exit from Halibut Cove, and the gray weather makes me realize that the sun is spending less time in our neck of the woods. This being said I ran into Ray Robinson, a friend from residency yesterday and another ski fanatic, he pointed out that indeed the changes mean our precious snow will be coming back. If you live in Alaska and that doesn’t brighten your day well, to each their own. It sure makes my day brighter.

Head Up, Heart Strong. I need a cure.
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