Surprise: You Are Scheduled for Surgery

Doctor with sawWhen 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.

Grey haired woman shaking head at computerNow, 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.
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7 thoughts on “Surprise: You Are Scheduled for Surgery

  1. Oh sister I have sh-t like that happening to me all the time. The most recent was Express Scripts including somebody’s anti-psychotic meds with my sleeping meds. FOrtunately I was not billed the co-payment, but, maybe there was somebody who really needed to get them on time.

    • You are right Kathy, that person probably needed those meds and then had to wait on them. I haven’t received anyone’s drugs, but I did get reimbursed for someone else’s drugs once. Back in the days when we had to submit our slips to get reimbursed, my check showed up with a bunch of stuff that wasn’t mine. The customer service person thought I was nuts calling because I got extra money.

  2. I have just started following you, I find your blog interesting, but I find it awfully hard to read the small white text on the black background. AS you know many diabetics have sight issues. Just an honest comment. I’m not a spammer I hate em! LOL! I found you through a mutual follower on twitter.

  3. Yeah – like Colleen says – a wee bit scary. I’m glad I have an unusual name here in North America – being an immigrant pays off . Not many Anna Kiff’s here – the only one I know of lives in Toronto (6 hours west of me) – a bank manager when looking for my a/c accidently told me about this – which I guess they shouldn’t have – but it was interesting to know there’s another Anna out there.

    • I will be the other Anna is nothing like you though! At least you know that she is out there. I know there are a lot of Kelly Booth’s in Facebook – someone I know pointed that out when she tried to find me.

    • I actually do use my middle initial Colleen, but the nurse apparently wasn’t paying attention. When I went to the doctor that had another Kelly Booth, we had different middle initials and when I checked in, I would automatically use my middle initial so they didn’t have to ask.

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