I’ve had to attend the Gynae Clinic several times over the past year or so and have had a couple of hysteroscopies for post menopausal bleeding. The clinics run like clockwork but at the same time the receptionist, nursing staff and consultants are so pleasant, kind and considerate that it doesn’t feel like a hospital experience at all.
One thing does concern me though about my most recent attendance for a hysteroscopy under GA, and that is about medical notes or absence of them.
Firstly, I advised the consultant at my clinic appointment that I was a newly diagnosed T2 diabetic on meds, I’ve also been treated at the same hospital for angioedema and anaphylactic shock and I watched the Consultant make notes in my case notes on those occasions.
Yet when my appointment came for the hysteroscopy I was phoned the day before and was told it had to be cancelled because they’d had emergencies. I was then asked to go in the following day at 11am.
When I got there, 5-6 other patients arrived after me and we all sat in the waiting room on very uncomfy chairs. Ward Manager then advised us they were short of beds and we’d have to all stay in the waiting room and basically wait until beds became available, and that our bloods and urine specimens would be done in the waiting room. She then went away and came back with a list of the order we were to go for surgery.
I was last on the list, which meant I’d been fasting from early morning that day and by my calculations from what the Ward Manager had said, I’d be lucky if I got down to theatre by 8pm if the surgeon was prepared to work that late! And I thought I’d probably have keeled over with hunger by then. I was anxious about the GA because of my history of anaphylaxis and with the diabetes on top, I was even more anxious and to be honest the bed situation seemed absurd. So I reminded the WM that I was diabetic as I understand diabetics are usually first on the list because of fasting and blood sugar levels, and that I didn’t think I could wait the whole day in the waiting room and also reminded her about the anaphylaxis to which she replied that there was nothing in my notes about either of those conditions.
I now really wonder what the point is of consultants and patients taking the time to exchange information and to write it down, if later on, that vital information is said to be not available in the notes when they get to the ward. Surely things like proneness to anaphylaxis and diabetes should be noted on the front of the casenotes where they can’t be missed.
In fact, wouldn’t it be useful if ALL diagnoses be listed at the front of the casenotes where they can be easily scanned with the eyes, and the details could be contained within the actual case notes in date order as usual?
I began to wonder whether they actually had the right notes or not as I’d seen the Consultant make the notes as I spoke them to her. I hate making a fuss but I was very uneasy about the fact that I was going for a GA and some important medical history was not available.
Apart from that everything else was fine and the porter, anaesthetists, consultant and theatre staff were brilliant but I would like to see the case note situation improved.