Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Apparently Quest Diagnostics Has Never Heard of HIPAA

8:00 pm UPDATE: Nurse called. No results from the lab. As I expected. Looks like the two week wait extends one more day. And now, back to the story...

Or else the technician this morning would never be yelling across the waiting room to a patient already settled in a room: "Who was your doctor again? Oh, Dr. _____. Is that with a G?"

Holy f*cking shit. Are you kidding me?

Now I know I am in a strip mall. I understand that these services are being done by one and only one technician faced with a full waiting room and I do I do feel for her. In fact, I feel for her so much it is the only reason I haven't reported their *sses already.

So, there I sit, in room #2, for, oh, 30 minutes at least. Finally, technician comes in and asks if I think my doctor's office would be open yet.

"Um, why?"

"Because I can't tell if they want a qualitative or a quantitative test and there's a big difference. Hang on, I am going to call them..."

And then I hear her dial by speaker phone.

Oh yes, and then because she is so busy, she obviously doesn't pick up on time and I hear that familiar answering message that loudly announces the NAME of my FERTILITY clinic across the (did I mention crowded) waiting room.

I am livid.

But I can't piss her off yet, can I? She is the ONLY person here and I need my blood drawn. She has the sharp objects in her possession. I need to keep my sh*t together for just a bit longer.

15 minutes later, we finally have resolution and she goes on to stab the sh*t out of my arm after lecturing me about how my clinic should have said this and this on my slip. "Next time, make sure they...." I cut her off and let her know I am hoping there won't be a next time.

There absolutely will not be a next time at this particular lab or location.

So then, unlike other skilled phlebotomists who maneuver until they find blood, she pulls out to try again. She goes for my other arm. And looks like she has been punched in the face when I ask,

"Um, sorry, but are you using the same needle???"

Because I never saw her discard the other one. She is indignant and gives me a lesson on how the needles seal off and can only be used once and how this one has a green cap and the other one had a black cap and actually said, "What would make you think that I would use the same needle."

At which point I should have said, "because I never would have thought that you would announce identifiable healthcare information across a crowded room of strangers which FYI, IS AGAINST THE LAW but you did, didn't you?"

But I didn't (see paragraph above re: her as only person here).

So I walked out to my car, texting furiously to my pal (and compliance officer extraordinaire) L to send me a link or number or whatever about where to file a HIPAA complaint. I am so disoriented, I don't realize I am standing in front of a car with a baby seat in back for minutes. I am so flustered that my first thought isn't, "oh, this isn't my car," it's "oh, why is there a baby seat in my car??"

Ok. So then I place myself in the correct car (sans baby seat) and drive to the grocery store because I don't want to go home and I don't want to go to work. I spend the next 2 hours at said grocery store. I bought bagels. Something I haven't purchased in years. Not 1. A half dozen. Don't even ask me why. I also felt a need to pick up 3 chocolate marshmallow concoctions from the bulk candy bins to eat in the car.

I f*cking hate marshmallows.

But I ate them. And then I took the long way home, stopping at any nick nack shop or bargain outlet that drew my attention. That actually worked out since I came home with 3 groovy journals, 2 new knitting books and a book that I decided a friend would really like. All on clearance.

And then I drove up on the sidewalk to deposit my bags one by one from car to elevator because I knew hubby would kill me if he saw new groceries in the kitchen and made the assumption that I had lifted more than 10 lbs. So I didn't. Friends and family reading this: please assure hubby that no heavy lifting was done.

So now I am home. Don't be mad if I don't answer the phone. Deciding what would make the day go faster - trying to get some work done, knitting, sitting and staring, a nap?

Oh and FYI, I am spotting. Just started. Not a lot. More like a little brown tint when I wipe. This has never happened before. I am not quite sure what to think. L. says it could be a good thing. A little voice is saying, "this has never worked before. Why would it work now?" I think in preparation for the worst possible scenario. It's like 14 days is the absolute max. that a body can maintain optimism.

Mine is starting to fade as the clock ticks and the call has yet to come.

Obviously, will let you know as soon as it does.


Anonymous said...

OK, I will be waiting whenever you're ready to relay news. I hope home is doing you good sweetie. Love you,

Anonymous said...

I am thinking of you. Lots of love and big hugs your way.

Anonymous said...

ditto Sarah and Heather. =)


m said...

Dear Sarah, Heather and Melis,

I am honestly sitting here crying (happy tears, happy tears) knowing that I have you three wonderful, beautiful, funny smart ladies as friends. A girl really can't ask for much more.

Tracy said...

delurking long enough to wish you GOOD LUCK.

I know there are more important things on the agenda right now, but I can't help but wonder what is going to happen to Quest when they get your complaint? Hm.

michelle said...

An often lurker; a sometimes commenter; here to say I am out here in Boston rooting for you ... good luck with everything. I know that waiting for "the call" can be excruciating....

Kami said...

Keeping an eye out for good news. Sorry the day started out so badly.

Anonymous said...

waiting waiting waiting.......all my love to you friend........

Lori Lavender Luz said...

Sending good and sticky thoughts, my friend.

Stupid Quest lady. I'm mad on your behalf.

Kami said...

Off with their heads! I hope the news is worth the wait.

Two Shorten the Road said...

OMG. The incompetence. It's the last thing you need. I hope they get their sh!t together and have results for you first thing tomorrow.

Ryan's Mommy said...

GAH. Sounds like one hell of a lab experience.

All my bits crossed over here.

Clover said...

Jeez, what's taking them so long? FYI, I had brown smudge in my successful pregnancies. Good luck!

Storm, The Psychotic Housewife said...

oh.my.goddess. I can't believe the whole office heard that. What a f'ing lousy visit to that office.

(and they better hurry up with those results!)

Stacie said...

Still thinking positive thoughts for you. Hugs to you.

stacyb said...

wow. that was really silly. really. ugh. sending tons of support your way M.

The Quoibler said...

I hate QD, too. Butchers. And b**ches, too.

I don't want to jinx you, but after reading your newer posts, I'm of the belief that the car seat was definitely a sign.

Keep me posted!