Wednesday, June 17, 2009


the project this morning is to find a parishioner...not just any parishioner, you understand, but Mrs. N.
Mrs. N is a widow. She is all but completely blind. She has no siblings, and only one child who lives in another country.
On the weekend she suffered a fall in her assisted-living seniors' residence. She MAY have fallen as a result of a mild stroke.
Or, of course, vice versa.
Her two most attached friend-households were both out of province at the time. One of them was reached by phone and persuaded her to let herself be taken to hospital.
We know which one.
We are told that she was discharged from the hospital.
We are told that she has not returned to her apartment.
We have no idea whether she was transferred to an auxiliary facility (this is our fervent hope); or whether she was simply ushered out of the primary-care hospital without follow-up.
Getting this simple piece of information, "What have you done with Mrs. N?" is unbelievably obstructed by a piece of legislation, referred to unlovingly as FOIPP.
(which stands for "Freedom of Information and Personal Privacy")
The institutional cry becomes, "we can't tell you that because of FOIPP." One of the things that "they" can't tell is whether a patient has been transferred to another facility, and if so, which one. No, no. That would be a breach of FOIPP.
So this morning I shall commence calling all the auxiliary-care hospitals I can think of, enquiring, "do you have Mrs. N there, by chance?"
The rationale for FOIPP is personal protection. It doesn't work that way.

***Late Breaking News~ FOUND HER, FOUND HER, FOUND HER. TBTG. Still at the acute-care hospital where she was first taken.

Sometimes the problem is FOIPP.
And sometimes the problem is D.U.M.B.


Jane Ellen+ said...

On this side of the border, the equivalent is called HIPAA (the The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). In my calmer moments I am willing to grant that HIPAA regulations are well-intentioned; but those calmer moments do not happen when I am trying to hike around the cavernous potholes in the hellish road they pave.

Sometimes-- SOMETIMES-- a personal visit to the hospital, in collar, will loosen the stranglehold a bit.

I pray that you find her, and that she is cared for.

Crimson Rambler said...

thanks Jane Ellen. She's not in any of the acute care hospitals, I've found out that much. And at one of them I got a "hearing" least.
Hereabouts, depending on circumstances, turning up in a collar can just make things worse.
On to the auxiliary hospitals. Please keep praying!

Auntie Knickers said...

Glad you found her! As Jane Ellen+ said, we have similar regs. And if parishioners don't know about them and just assume that the hospital will call their pastor...well, you can guess what transpires. The whole privacy thing also kills trees -- every institution we have anything to do with seems to have to send us a policy every year (sometimes one apiece if it's a joint account or something)...AARRGGHH!

Jane Ellen+ said...

So what they're saying is that they misplaced her?? Oh, my. I have no words...

Actually, I find I have this mental image of Monty Python-esque hospital personnel running about. "Well, I'm pretty sure we set her down around here somewhere..." Amusing entertainment, but hardly inspiring confidence!

I am grateful to know that she is safe. Prayers of thanksgiving tonight.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Associated Healthcare Systems of Jessamine County and Senior Living Management Services announced the future opening of an assisted living in Nicholasville KY by Fall of 2009.

Jim said...

That's about the size of it. "Protection of privacy" does more harm, on a daily basis, than a Panzer division in high gear. These issues were noted fifteen years ago and more. And they were completely ignored by the twelve-year-old zealots who write government policy.

The example that I hit most recently: A medical officer in an army clinic can tell the provincial registrar of motor vehicles that Bloggins has a medical condition that requires his driver's licence be suspended. But he can't tell the transport officer. That would violate Bloggins's privacy.

So Bloggins can no longer drive his Kia, but he's still driving a twenty-ton armoured vehicle.

This is called "protecting him."

Terri said...

We have had to do the same thing numerous times, call all the hospitals and potential rehab sites to find is the nature of living with an aging population when no family is near by or remains alive.

It is also a real pain....a bit too much privacy I say, at the risk of having a person all alone at an acute time of illness.

Jan said...

So glad you found her.