Can I please speak with a tablet?

Tablet left by an AndroidI went to what I’d call a hospital park yesterday. Doctors offices intermixed with treatment wards, birthing centers, etc. Don’t fret, I’m not dying, I’m just not sleeping and finally have insurance that the deductible is low enough I can justify trying to go for a sleep study.

Warning: there’s not much of a point to this, just my exasperation with a tech-filled environment that nobody was bothering to glance at said tech.


When I was younger I managed to handle my not being able to sleep for two hours, marathon leg, and otherwise crappy sleep situation by a nap, going to bed early, or so much coffee I smelled like a Seattleite.

Unfortunately kids, baby waking in the middle of the night, my many jobs calling for emergencies, and season two of Daredevil or a good book, conspire to turn me into a zombie four out of seven days a week.

Yesterday was a follow up. I showed up 15 minutes early, was given a tablet to swipe my copay and asked a couple of questions on it. I received an email within two minutes that my payment was good and that I was checked in. It might have been instant for all I know, I didn’t check my phone immediately. I had a page for “have your symptoms changed,” and bam.

I got through the door seven minutes early, weighed, and taken into an office with a large screen with my medical information pulled up including what I was going to be back for today.

The person who’s checking me in asks if I’ve been having any more trouble breathing. Er, no, no problems breathing since December but there’s no way you know that as I’m here for insomnia and you don’t have my medical records for then. Oh, you’re here for a sleep apnea follow-up! Er, no, I don’t have sleep apnea, it’s listed there on the screen.

I was asked a few more questions regarding nothing I was there for, the person asking seemed slightly more flustered, all my woes were listed out in 18 point font on a 40 inch monitor and I didn’t understand what this guessing game was about. Did they not bring glasses?

The doctor came in and asked me how my sleep apnea was, and I told him that other than snoring once a month and a half ago after too much wine, I still had not developed sleep apnea since I last saw him.

The technology for checking me in and getting me there was great, but really start losing faith when nobody bothers to check said tech. Seriously, you’re walking with a tablet with my medical history with you on it.

The medical record pulled right up, you can look at it before talking to me and know why I’m there, I kept wondering why they weren’t.

It’s an odd state of tech when billing, complaints, all the records are there and multiple people aren’t looking at them.

On the up side, the new doctor gave up and is trying to get me into a sleep study, which is what my old doctor was doing by referring me to the new doctor but even with better insurance you still seem to have to jump through some weird hoops.

I was also struck by that the whole process could have been done by Skype, with the exception of weighing me and taking my blood pressure. Cameras are sensitive enough these days they could have had a running pulse rate just by looking at my face.

Remote doctors offices were something big at CES 2014, and wearable biometric monitors have been all the rage. Just seems like these days they should send you home with a wearable cone of shame or something and call you in if they needed blood.

Every time I start feeling like we’re living in the future I feel that the future is somehow the DMV.

Now I have to deliver this piece of paper to a pharmacy.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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