How can I get my mother's doctors to exchange information and work as a team?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 16, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Has a whole team of doctors who though are able to connect with one another on same computer system they don't. Every time my mother has to see someone new its like I have to start all over again with explaining how her body react to different things only for them to look me in my face and tell me that's not true but later find out that I was right all along. I feel burnted out and that the doctors, nurses, and home care professionals look down at me cause I didn't go to med school and its causing me to be angry and depressed all the time cause this is my mother not theirs.

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

I am sorry that you are so frustrated. I know that in this age of technology, it should be easy for us working in healthcare to all get a quick idea of what is going on with patients just by reading it on the computer. However, that is not always the case. Many health care computer systems have blocked content, meaning that some people cannot see the whole story, as much of the health data is protected by law. Many computer systems between different doctor's offices and campuses are not even linked together, so this may be part of the issue. Also, many of us in healthcare are under time crunches, and taking the time to look things up in the computer often is left undone. It is a shame.

Please know that the healthcare people are not looking down on you. If you are telling them things from your experience, many of us are doubtful, as we tend to rely on cold, hard facts, not stories. It may be helpful for you to have a folder with pertinent history, lab tests, health records, etc. that you can just show providers every time you go in to see someone new with your mother.

It is hard to care for someone who is ill. I think that you are feeling frustrated about the burden of taking care of someone, especially when you have been doing this for some time, and no one is acknowledging what you do or what you know. Perhaps you need to try and find a primary care provider for you mother who will try and coordinate some of her appointments, and take care of some of the work for you.

Lastly, I know that there are nurses who hire themselves out to consult with families just like you who are feeling lost in our healthcare system. Perhaps it would be worth your time to look into this. Good luck!