Thanks to the Internet (and Al Gore) my husband is, sometimes, able to field pages from home. From our home computer, he can pull up medical records, look at a patient's CT scan or other study to determine if he needs to go in or not. Technology has definitely been a game changer, not only for the doctors but patients as well.
For instance, once my father was suffering from a bad, itchy rash. He was trying to describe the rash to Doc H over the phone. Doc H suggested he Skype him with his webcam. We were amazed at the clarity of the picture and Doc H was able to diagnose the rash and made treatment suggestions. Viola! Tele-medicine.
I bring this all up because we recently experienced another first in technology and medicine--a blunder, really. A doctor colleague of Doc H's has been having....ummm...how should I phrase this... hemmoroidal issues. This particular doctor (let's call him Doc O'Roid), is the exact opposite of Doc H. When Doc H has any issues, he will make me drive him to a far away hospital where no one will (hopefully) recognize him. Doc O'Roid felt comfortable enough to make his appointment right there in the hospital where he works. Good for him! Great for his wife! She doesn't have to drive him outside of town for his appointments. (Honey, if you're reading this, I really don't mind. Honest. I don't really don't mind, cause you'll be driving me out of state for my colonoscopy.)
Doc O'Roid was a little miffed when his colleague, Doc I-Fix-Roids wouldn't break protocol and documented his appointment and reason for the appointment for all the MAs to see. Humiliating, right? These are co-workers knowing your anal business. Bad.
Then the bad got worse. Infection and pain set in. Doc O'Roid needed help. It was his back side and he couldn't see...he couldn't make a self-diagnosis. What's a Doc to do? Call the wife, that's what. I imagine it went down something like this:
DOR: Honey, come help me!
DOR: I think I have an infection, can you grab my IPhone?
(Mrs comes in the room with the camera. DOR moons her, grabs his cheeks and spreads them. She dutifully snaps the photo.)
Doc O'Roid texts the photo of the infected area to his friend and doctor, Doc I-Fix-Roids. Doc O'Roid (who is home using sick days and heavily medicated at this point) mentions the text to Doc H.
At the hospital, Doc H runs into Doc I-Fix-Roids. Doc H asks if he received the lovely photos on his phone from Doc O'Roids.
Doc I-Fix-Roids: Huh? What picture?
Then it all came together for Doc H. He remembered awhile back he tried reaching Doc I-Fix-Roids on his cell phone and a strange lady had answered. Doc I-Fix-Roids had changed his cell phone number.
I'm thinking that lady is changing her phone number today, too.