I go to the doctor a lot. Like many older Americans, I’ve got a primary care doctor, a cancer doctor, a knee doctor, an eye doctor, a dentist, a foot doctor and a few others when the needs arise.
But almost every time I go to a doctor, the first thing they do at check-in is hand me a clipboard with a few forms to fill out.
Well, I’ve obviously filled out these forms a hundred times and they always ask the same questions – your name, your address, your age, your gender, next of kin, kind of insurance, and have you had (every malady known to man, yes or no).
It always seems like such a useless duplication of information that I’ve given them many times before. But they always want it again and again.
“It keeps our files updated,” one nice receptionist told me when I frowned.
So I sit there with a few dozen of my fellow Baby Boomers in the waiting room, clipboard on my lap, filling out forms, which by the way, never quite leave you enough space to write your full address, or an explanation of the surgery you had back in 1997.
All of which makes me wonder why, in this high-tech age, we haven’t progressed to a more sophisticated way of gathering this redundant data. Seems I read somewhere that we should be able to zap a zip-drive or bump our smart phones and simply download it to the designated doctor in an instant.
And, hey, I’m there so often, it seems they would know my name by now.
But, as I sat there filling out yet another form yesterday, it finally dawned on me. They do know my name. They’re just checking to see if I still do.