Hospital Schedules Patient for Mammogram Instead of Stress Test

My wife has had a leaky heart valve for some time. Mitral valve prolapse seems to run in her family, especially in the women. Lately it’s been giving her a bit more problems than ever before so she went to see her doctor. He ordered a flow stress echocardiogram at the local hospital.

The doctor’s office contacted the hospital and got her scheduled for July 17th at 8:30am. The hospital then called my wife to get her preregistered. They gave her the basic instructions of not having anything to eat or drink in the morning. Since we don’t have health insurance, we discussed the costs of the stress test and made an initial payment towards the amount.

When we arrived at the outpatient center, we found out that they had her scheduled for a mammogram and not the flow stress echocardiogram. It took a bit, but the girl at registration was finally able to change the orders for the right test. A few minutes later, they took my wife back for her test.

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After the stress of being signed up for the wrong test, she had more stress during her test when one of the nurses could not enter her notes into the computer. Turns out the hospital computer had my wife listed for the wrong test and the notes the nurse was trying to input did not fit the criteria for the test they were supposed to do so it rejected them. It took another call and more waiting but they finally got her in the system for the right stress test and were able to continue.

After we got home, my wife found an email from the hospital reminding her of her flow stress echocardiogram scheduled for 9:30am on the 17th instead of 8:30am. The email also informed her not to have anything to eat or drink and no caffeine 12 hours prior to her test. The email was sent at 8:33am, three minutes after her test was supposed to start.

I’ve heard of people going into the hospital for one procedure and then having something completely different done, but this was our first experience with something like this. From what I’m hearing, under Obamacare, this is happening more and more.

One website, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, reports that it’s common for neurosurgeons to operate on the wrong part of the spine. They also reported a woman who went in to have a cancerous lesion removed from one side of her vulva and found out afterwards that the surgeons removed the healthy side instead and left the cancer.

The lesson learned from our experience is to always make sure you double and triple check before having anything done at a hospital. AHRC says to always verify your name and info first as one patient underwent heart surgery for what was supposed to be for a different patient with a similar name. Not checking beforehand could be quite serious.

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