Last summer, during one of my many consults, I was ‘gowned up’ and waiting for the doctor to return when I saw it–the large computer monitor with my test results. Albeit a large screen, I couldn’t quite read the results from the examination table. I leaned forward–it didn’t help. I resisted and reasoned: They’re my results; it’s about me; it’s my property; I have a right to look at them. I gave in, got off the table with the stealth of a spy, then read them–Grrr, I’ve already seen these on-line, if only I could scroll down to see more. Where’s the mouse? It was nowhere on the desk.
I got back on the table and saw it–the mouse and keyboard were on the pull-out desk tray. I resisted and reasoned again: They’re my results and the doctor always knocks before entering which will give me plenty of time to get away from the monitor and back on the table. Again with surreptitiousness, in a hospital gown that was a size too small I crept to the desk and with one finger began to daintily pull out the tray when a loud BONG-DING-BONG went off through the speaker overhead. My heart kicked into high gear and I was ever so thankful I had already returned the heart monitor. Really, this place is so high tech the desk trays are wired for movement. How am I going to explain this? raced through my mind in the nan-second it took me to get on the table before I heard: Will Dr. So-And-So please report to….
When my doctor returned, she thoroughly went through all my results and there was nothing new. She wanted me to be an informed patient–there were no secrets.
The next week, I had a test ordered to evaluate me for asthma (the day before I had told the doctor I would do them, but was sure they would come back normal). As the nurse began to explain the test it seemed all to familiar,”I’m pretty sure I did this test yesterday.” She pulled up my records and confirmed that I had already done the test. She then had me breathe in a tube device and again I stated that I felt like I’d done the test, this was the third separate time I’d been asked to breathe into a tube device. She explained that baseline info was needed for the test, and got out a small glass vial…”Does that stuff taste really nasty? I think I did this test the week of the 24th.”
She pulled up my records and results and said, “Let me call the doctor,” then hurriedly left the room. I could hear her on he phone across the hall–the computer monitor was just inches away with a mouse in full view; I was in street clothes that fit. This was my chance!
I’ve given up peaking–even at my on-line records and results–it has in no way been advantageous.