When I got back from Pittsburgh on Friday afternoon, I noticed that there was a call on my caller ID from UPMC Passavant in Pittsburgh. I don’t see any doctors at UPMC Passavant so I picked up my phone to see if there was a message. The little tone that plays when I have a voice mail was there so I checked my messages. I was very surprised to hear the following message, the beginning of which was:
Hi Kelly, its M calling from Dr. X’s office. Your OR date will be Nov …
The problem: I never heard of Dr. X (which is a made up initial) nor was I planning any surgery. My voice mail says Kelly Booth, not my phone number. The message was obviously for someone named Kelly Booth.
I called the number and by chance, M answered the phone. I started the conversation as, “This is Kelly Booth. You left a message in my voice mail about surgery.” M responded, “Yes I did.” There was no “who is Kelly Booth.” She obviously meant to call Kelly Booth, she just called the wrong one.
In the past I have expressed some concerns over electronic medical records. This brings up a whole new concept that I didn’t even think of before – getting records mixed up with someone with the same name even if you don’t use the same doctors.
Believe it or not, when I lived near Harrisburg, there was another Kelly Booth that went to the same group of doctors that I did. Things did get mixed up some, but if they “lost” a report, they could look in the other paper file to find it.
Now, it is not a matter of two Kelly Booth’s being a patient of the same doctor, it is a matter of our both going to UPMC. UPMC has 15 hospitals and over 2600 doctors (when I clicked find a doctor but didn’t put in any information, 2673 names came up), not to mention all the people that work for those hospitals and doctors that have access to my information. Even doctors I don’t see might be adding stuff to my file. They might be pulling up my file instead of the other Kelly Booth. The lip biopsy that I had in July never showed up in my UPMC HealthTrak account. Now I wonder if it just went to the wrong Kelly Booth’s account. Since I don’t have access to her account, I will never know if that is what happened.
When I told a friend of mine, she said that we already have to worry about our financial identities being stolen and now we have to worry about our medical identities being stolen. Then she jokingly said that I should switch medical identities. I said that I don’t think I have to worry about anyone stealing my medical identity – no one would want it. I looked up Dr. X out of curiosity and seeing what type of doctor he is, I don’t want the other Kelly Booth’s medical identity either.