At a time when the country is reeling with anxiety about meta data and what-all being spied upon or leaked all over the cyberworld it was again disconcerting to report for a Hospital appointment this morning and be asked to produce my passport yet again.
The health system seems to be rigidly unable to permit useful information to cross boundaries between District Health Boards. If they share information, it seems the only thing that Whangarei, Waitemata and Auckland Boards all know about me is that I am CJF6844. That works anywhere in the country. But it tells them just about nothing.
So, once more today, my consultants had not seen my “end of life” directives… And for the fourth time in four months I was measured and weighed (am I a baby and not putting on enough weight?) and next of kin and personal contact details all filled in again (“Sorry, but we don’t have those details here” - well, why not, I ask myself, when all this stuff takes up staff time as well as mine).
And the consultation began with yet another recounting and recording of my medical history. Years ago I saw a file 3 cms thick with my name on it and flags sticking out to mark important items. But staff doctor Anna didn’t have any of that today. She had a referral and a couple of pieces of paper. When she said that she would organise a CT scan, I produced my own DVDs of last month's scans; she didn't even know I'd recently had CT, MRI and Scintigram scans, courtesy of the failed evaluation for the ARN 509 trial.
Well, I guess the system is taking no chances on being unduly influenced by what has gone before, that’s for sure. But in this IT age, it all seems a huge waste of resources.