Here’s a nicely written blog post from KevinMD, “False patient contact information worsens emergency care”. (link)
It turns out that, in a study from the Journal of Emergency Medicine, out of of 1,136 patients, “only 42 percent could be successfully contacted using the numbers provided [and] nearly 28 percent of the patients gave wrong or disconnected numbers.”
The main reason this is a problem is when the ER has to give important / life-threatening test results back to the patients – who then can’t be found. Malpractice attorneys love to pounce on this kind of thing – but of course, it would really help if the patient had been honest in the first place.
I had no idea that the problem was this bad. We get bogus contact information from prospective patients sometimes, even at our plastic surgery office….when they are calling about a free consultation!
It’s a crazy world.