"Canberra Hospital - communication failures"

About: Canberra Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

Good afternoon,

I was admitted to the Canberra Hospital at the end of 2012 for day surgery.

I completed several forms during the extensive series of pre-operation appointments with you. Sometimes, you had me complete the same form more than once. When I questioned you, it appeared to me that you didn't know why.

You seemed to repeatedly ask me for my local GP to send a copy of my records to. As I have recently moved to Canberra, I told you that I did not have a local GP. It seemed to me that you didn't seem to know what to do with that information.

Finally, someone asked if they could send the records to my non-local GP. I stated on several occasions that my GP was Dr X (and provided the full address) and that I wanted a copy of all records sent to her. I signed this form.

But it would appear that this never happened.

In fact, when my doctor rang you to request the copy of my medical records that you promised to send to her - but you seemingly did not - it would seem you refused.

I hear hospitals around Australia constantly complaining that they do not have enough resources to do their jobs.

It seems to me that you could save significant amounts of time (and money) by:

(1) simplifying this horribly complex process of completing the same form multiple times; and

(2) automatically sending copies of records to patients and/or their nominated GPs - without the need for numerous, multiple phone calls, emails and letters.

I sent an email in which I re-iterated, please send a full copy of my medical records to my GP.

This email was sent early 2013. I never received a response.

After numerous telephone calls to the hospital, and being transferred around the hospital, I did eventually succeed in having a copy of my medical records sent to my GP.

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Responses

Response from Patient Opinion Australia

This response has been posted by Patient Opinion on behalf of Health ACT Government.

Hi Stacey,

Thank you for your feedback. ACT Health would like to investigate this matter in more detail. If possible please send us your contact details via email healthfeedback@act.gov.au or phone (02) 6207 7627

Kind Regards,

Jack

ACT Health

care excellence collaboration integrity

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Update posted by Stacey (the patient)

I sent that exact email through to you over a year ago. The above is just a cut and paste of the email I sent you then.

Response from Patient Opinion Australia

This response has been posted by Patient Opinion on behalf of Health ACT Government.

Hi Stacey,

I apologise that you did not receive a response to your original feedback and thank you for taking the time to provide us with your comments and recommendations. It is Canberra Hospital policy to forward a copy of patient discharge summaries to patient’s GP’s. If the GP details are entered correctly into our computer system, dispatch of the discharge summary will occur automatically, when the treating doctor completes an electronic Discharge Summary. If the doctor completes an alternate type of discharge summary, electronic dispatch is not possible so these are manually faxed to the nominated GP, if the details recorded in the computer system are correct. We apologise for the failure of our communication processes in your case but are unable to determine how and why the communication failures occurred, without further patient details. If you require further explanation please contact the Medical Record Department on 02 62442124 and ask for the Deputy Director.

Kind Regards,

Jack

ACT Health

care excellence collaboration integrity

This message, and any attachments to it, contains information that is confidential. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, you must not review, copy, disseminate or disclose its contents to any other party or take action in reliance of any material contained within it. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by return email informing them of the mistake and delete all copies of the message from your computer system.

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