Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Medical Paperwork Fun

S needed some dental work done. She was terrified of the first dentist, who first put off doing the work for 6 months (in a vain hope that she would be better able to sit still for them by then), then said they would have to sedate her to get the work done and ultimately waited until I called them to follow up on the appointment call I was supposed to have gotten to tell me that they wouldn't actually do that work themselves.

So, I found her a new dentist.

I love this new dentist so much I have switched my biological children to this new practice. (Their previous pediatric dentist doesn't accept Medicaid.) They have been incredible. Patient, loving, calm, composed, understanding, reasonable, warm.

But the biggest moment for me was actually something the front office staff did.

My agency requires me to get a specific form filled out at every medical visit. I've been told (by county caseworkers and by medical staff at a number of different places) that they are the only agency that does this. These same people have also told me that they wish more agencies did something like this. It's a simple form. It just lists the office's contact information (name, address, phone, fax), the child's name and birthdate and then has about 5 short questions. Essentially, it's a list of the purpose of the visit, what diagnosis (if any) there is, whether a follow up is needed, and any post-visit procedures that should be followed. The form has my agency's name in big letters at the top of the page. And my agency's name is something along the lines of "Agency Foster Care," so it's pretty clear from the form what the purpose is.

I always offer the form to the front office staff, and they generally look at it like I'm insane and end up having me hand it to the doctor in the actual exam room. Sometimes the nurse or front office person will take it, but they make me say multiple times that I need this filled out because the child is in foster care. Usually in the waiting room. Possibly surrounded by other patients and their families.

At this pediatric dentist, I finally, FINALLY got something that felt like a professional reaction. It was clear she'd never seen the form before, but she took it, glanced over it, and turned to the hygienist who was going to be seeing S. Her head was now turned in such a way that I could just see the side of her face and the only other people who could see her face were staff. She held the form up so the hygienist could see it and said, "she needs this filled out" and mouthed "foster care."

It's amazing how little things like that can make such a huge difference in my comfort level. 

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