Still Teaching: How My Mom Helped Me Understand the True Impact of Interoperability

Rich Piper

My Mom is 79 years old, and lives alone in a retirement community in Southern California. During the night, she experienced tremendous pain from her hip and inner thighs, down to her feet. She was unable to stand.

A neighbor heard her cries for help and took her to the local hospital emergency room. She completed admissions paperwork, was seen by a couple of doctors and diagnosed with sciatica. They administered and prescribed pain medication, contacted her primary care physician (PCP), and she was discharged to her home. Her brother (who lives in San Diego), was able to get her there safely while I traveled from Arizona to care for her.

She spoke with her PCP the next day and was referred to a local pain doctor. Four days later, she met with the pain doctor, and his office needed her to complete the same paperwork required by the hospital despite the fact it appeared the pain doctor had some record of the hospital’s diagnosis and incident treatment. Read more