It’s not often that one gives extra thought to the slip of paper the doctor quickly scribbles on before he sends you out the door to go pick up your prescription. It’s often a very minor task that people sort of just forget about. You go into the office with a scratchy throat, perhaps inflamed cervical lymph nodes and a low-grade fever. The doctor does a quick swab of your tonsils while you gag and sends it off to the lab. This is just for posterity as he treats you like you already have strep and quickly doles out a prescription for antibiotics to treat for the worst case scenario. You happily walk out the door, get your prescription filled and use your doctor’s note to enjoy a well deserved day off. It’s rare that anyone really thinks about the note that the doctor scribbled on, but that doctor’s note holds a lot of power that many people don’t realize. Not only is it your key to a day off from work without questions asked but it is also a legal hallmark of our society in how vague and secretive this often overlooked document is.
For example, the aforementioned patient had a telltale case of strep. The doctor would still run the labs to confirm it, but based up on his clinical presentation, it’s really not necessary. He knows what strep looks like and even though the results have not come back positive yet he knows how to treat based upon his analysis. This is exactly how doctor’s notes work. A doctor’s note allows the physician to make his assessment and put it in the permanent medical record without having to pass all the information onto the general public unless totally necessary.
When somebody goes to doctor’s office because they are feeling under the weather there is a common procedure. They might wait in the lobby, and a nurse or medical assistant will call them back. Their weight or other vitals may be taken. After that, the physician will perform his exam and make his diagnosis if there is one. If the doctor determines that the patient should be removed from the general public, he or she will receive a note. However, since the US has strict privacy laws it will be very vague. The note can’t mention anything about the diagnosis, reason for visit or other personal details. It can only mention how long the patient is to be removed from the general population.
Some might say that this is a silly and even dangerous rule, however, in reality, it allows doctors to practice medicine as they see it best. It also allows privacy and confidentiality for a patient if they are visiting for a potentially embarrassing malady. It also gives the doctor the ability to pass this information onto higher officials and potentially quarantine the patient if there is a real threat for higher level infections without alerting the general public.
In the end, while it may seem like the writing of doctor’s notes is an antiquated practice; it actually allows greater control of public health and privacy for the patient. Read more – http://makefakedoctorsnote.com/