Opps! Big mistake.

03/02/2010 at 5:25 AM Leave a comment

One of my older patients died the other day. It was not unexpected, in fact he had fought hard and had enjoyed  his last few years. He was a wonderful guy who always came in with his dear wife.

When he died I received a call from the funeral home asking wether I would sign the death certificate. Knowing the patient well and knowing what his diagnosis were I agreed. This part is standard operating procedure. The problem came when the gentleman from the funeral home came with the death certificate and we could not locate the chart. We had it out waiting for this moment but at that particular time we could not locate it. A few numbers may make it more understandable. We have seen nearly 30,000 (approx. 28400) patients since I opened in 1989. Of course not all of those are current patients but a good number are. That means that we have multitudes of charts and at any one time there are probably two or three hundred out and about on their daily tasks.

So remembering this old gentleman so well I decided I could fill it out from memory. And I did, for the wrong older gentleman. As it turns out there were two very similar men with similar but not identical situations. Both had adoring wives that brought them in, both were balding gentle souls. I just found out about the mistake because the wife called upset. Once I heard her voice I placed the face and realized what I had done. Of course I apologized  to her and will correct the mistake ASAP. But I will not make that mistake again. Too many names and faces to rely on the old memory cells for something that important.

The wife was very understanding and I bless her for that. The last thing I needed to do was to add to her distress at such a time.


Entry filed under: Doctor Musings, true story. Tags: .

prescription details I cannot believe I did…

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