Tag: doctors

Details Matter

Photo by PhotoMIX Company on Pexels.com

There have been some improvements to the paperwork involved in doctor’s visits. In the past I have complained about filling out countless forms with the same information again and again, and how wasteful that seemed. It made me reluctant to even schedule a routine appointment for fear of the paperwork under which I would be buried. A year or two ago, however, my doctors’ office switched to an app that handles most of this for you. The app has all of my current information. I can schedule appointments through it, can get lab results, communicate with my doctor, see my prescriptions. All-in-all, as a patient, I’ve been pretty impressed by it.

As a software developer and one who manages software projects, however, there is at least one thing that bothers me about it: a lack of attention to certain details in the process–and details matter.

I scheduled my annual physical late last year using the app. My physical was scheduled for early in February. On the day of the appointment, I got up, had breakfast, and headed to the doctor. I used the app to check in, saw my doctor, and everything seemed quick and efficient. But by the time I’d finished chatting with the doctor at the end, and realized he was sending me home, I said, “Am I supposed to get blood drawn for the blood work?”

He said that he’d ordered the labs, had anyone told me about it?

They hadn’t.

Had I eaten in the last 8 hours?

I had.

He seemed puzzled. I explained that I made my appointment through the app. I told him that in the past, when I called for an appointment, they told me that there would be blood work. That was followed by a reminder email the day before, telling me I should not eat after midnight of the day of my appointment.

The doctor considered this and then said that this would explain why some patients weren’t getting this notice. Apparently, if you made your appointment through the app, this reminder wasn’t happening. Details matter.

When I checked out, I made a follow-up appointment (not through the app) to have the blood work done a few days later. It meant having to trek back to the doctor’s office, paying for parking again, fasting until the appointment was over, but I did it.

Later that afternoon, the results of my blood work arrived in my app. Everything was normal. But I wonder if anyone has reported this oversight with the app scheduler that I uncovered. And I wonder for next year: should I use the app to make my appointment, or just call?

Also, later that afternoon, I got a survey to see how well my blood work appointment went.

Written on February 10, 2022.

Did you enjoy this post?
If so, consider subscribing to the blog using the form below or clicking on the button below to follow the blog. And consider telling a friend about it. Already a reader or subscriber to the blog? Thanks for reading!

Follow Jamie Todd Rubin on WordPress.com

Our high-tech OB doctor

We are lucky to have the best OB doctor ever looking after Kelly and the Sibling-To-Be-Named-Later. We had Dr. Kathy when Kelly was pregnant with the Z-Man and she was wonderful and the same is true now. The staff in her office are wonderful, too. They remember who you are from visit-to-visit, chat with you and seem almost as excited as you are about the experience.

One new innovation this time around is the thumb drive we were given after our first visit. Their entire pregnancy package is in electronic format on the thumb drive, including the medicines its okay to take, what not too take, and answers to common questions. Furthermore, Dr. Kathy dumped the pictures she took of the Sibling-To-Be-Named-Later onto the thumb drive. And yesterday, all of the blood work back from the lab got copied to the thumb drive. It’s so convenient and environmentally friendly. Just one of the reasons we really love our doctor. (I saw “our” doctor when Dr. Kathy is really Kelly’s doctor–but I’m there for every appointment and so she feels like my doctor too.)

We didn’t get to see the baby yesterday but we did get to listen to its heartbeat. It sounded perfect, strong, according to the doctor.  Kelly asked, “Is it moving?”

“I haven’t heard it moving,” Dr. Kathy said. No sooner had the words come out of her mouth and we heard a thump! “It just moved!” she said. “He’s a trooper. Performed on cue!”

While we were there, Dr. Kathy’s staff scheduled the rest of our visits through our 6-week followup after the baby is born. Kind of crazy to have doctors appointments scheduled through October, but also really helpful. One less thing to worry about.

I really do feel lucky to have such a wonderful doctor for both our little ones. It makes the whole experience that much less stressful. And isn’t cool how high-tech she is?

Doctor appointment

So after three weeks, this cough is still lingering and I have finally caved in and decided to see my doctor. I called a few minutes ago and managed to wrangle an appointment for 12:15 PM, so I’ll be heading home shortly, and working from home for the rest of the day.

And maybe get some medicine that will rid me of this cough once and for all.

Okay, to be perfectly honest, Dad is flying in tonight and if he hears me coughing he will ask if I’ve been to the doctor and if I say that I haven’t, I won’t hear the end of it. So I am going to the doctor so that I can say that I’ve been to the doctor. Maybe the secondary side-effect of the visit will be some sort of antibiotic that will relieve the cough.

Blood pressure update

Exactly one month ago, I visited the doctor for a checkup and reported that I had “elevated” blood pressure. At the time, my blood pressure was 138/88 and I was told that for someone of my age/health, it should be around 115/75. I immediately cut my sodium intake somewhat and also have started to run again over the last 30 days.

Today, I had my follow up appointment and when my blood pressure was taken today, it was a cool 118/74. That’s not bad aim, considering I had no idea if I was running enough or cutting back on the sodium intake enough. As much as I’d like to say I planned it, it really was blind luck. In any event, my doctor was happy with the results and I am too, although I take it with a grain of salt (no pun intended). After all, last time could have been a fluke high, or today could have been a fluke low.

Transition to middle age

Turning 34 is definitely the transition to middle age. I had my physical today. The doctors (who were recommended to me by Rich) were great. I met both Dr. Ken and Dr. Laura (husband and wife team) and Ken spent nearly an hour with me, getting a history, doing the exam, drawing blood, talking about Rich. I think it was the most time a doctor has spent with me in one sitting.

I don’t know about the blood work yet, but one thing emerged from the visit: I have “elevated” blood pressure. My pressure was 138/88 on the automatic machine and roughly the same 135/90 on the manual (and more accurate) machines. I now have to work toward reducing these number. Normal numbers for someone my age and health are 115/70-something. There are two ways of reducing this: (1) reduce salt intake; and (2) more carido-vascular exercise. I’m not sure which is more challenging.

I never add salt to any of my foods, but I probably do eat a lot of foods with a high salt content, so that’s got to go. I’ll probably switch to oatmeal for breakfast. PB&J are fairly low-salt, as are turkey sandwiches so my lunches can stay fairly consistent. But no more chips–for a while anyway. I’m suddenly a little more conscious of actually looking at the labels on the things that I consume. A can of Caffine Free Coke has 50mg of sodium. I don’t know if this is a lot or a little, but I probably have to limit my intake of these, somewhat. The frozen dinners are probably pretty high in salt content, so dinners are going to be the trickiest thing to alter. Or I could just stop eating dinner. Probably need more pasta, plain rice, stuff like that.

And then there’s cardio. I’ve been doing the pushups and weights, but no cardio. I need to start. I’ll probably start bny running 3-times a week, building up to 30 minutes the same way I built up to 90 pushups. I may mix in or switch to biking at some point, because that’s probably easier on my knees.

Of course, this is easier said than done, I’m sure, as anyone who has ever tried this knows, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

I’m scheduled for a follow-up visit on April 27 to see how much, if any, the numbers have changed. In any event, I’d definitely say that elevated blood pressure is a clear sign of middle age.


For the first time since 1999 (I think) I have an appointment for a regular physical. Since I moved out here almost four years ago, I haven’t had a regular doctor. Last night, I was chatting with Rich and asked him if he could recommend a good family doctor in my area. He recommended the Khandagle Medical Associates, a husband and wife team who Rich knew from his residency at St. Agnes in Baltimore. So I now have an appointment with Dr. Ken Khandagle on Monday, March 27 in the early afternoon.

It’s nice getting a recommendation for a doctor from someone you trust.