Friday, July 6, 2007

Iatrogenesis and Its Cousin HISS*

Iatrogenesis is a fancy name for doctor-induced illness. The unintended side effects of treatments can be worse than the ailment. Anyone want to coin a new word, or perhaps there is one out there already, for symptoms caused by interfacing with our lovely health system? I've spent quite a few hours today on hold to make appointments which I then cannot schedule because the right form is not at the right desk. In one case the employee in the doctor's office gave me the wrong phone number for scheduling the appointment, which I discovered after about 20 minutes on hold. When I pointed this out to her, her explanation was very creative: "But that's the phone number we have in the computer." I am also spending lots of time providing all the same information which I have done dozens of times already, even though none of it has changed. And I am one of the lucky ones who has health care!
All this for a relatively minor symptom. Maybe it's a plot to wear patients down so they won't seek treatment? HealthSystemItis?
*Health-System Induced Stress Syndrome = HISS. That's a possibility. Any other ideas?


Anonymous said...

HISS, that's what I've got. Thanks for the diagnosis!

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember that you dealt with the subject of special medical care that one gets when they reach a level of income where they can avoid this medical plot to wear us all down. I can't remember the actual term for it. I can't afford this care but I can dream (or move to France).

Betsy Teutsch said...

It's called concierge medicine. I'm sure there is a significant payback in lowered stress, actually, if you have this! Here's the post: