Things that Make You Go '"ARRRRRRRRRRGH"

I struggle with stupidity. When confronted with asinine policies, procedures or responses grace goes out the window and I become an impatient, short-tempered jerk. I tell myself that I will do better the next time, but each time the next time comes I find myself struggling all over again.

One of my greatest frustrations is the number of useless forms that have become a part of my life. I somehow missed the memo, but last week must have been National Stupid Form Week.

CVS Pharmacy interrupted my day demanding to know the diagnosis for a patient being prescribed narcotics. While they say they are trying to stop fraudulent prescriptions, my prescriptions are sent through a secure electronic system that is double password protected. One of the passwords changes every 30 seconds, so fraud is impossible. This did not matter to the pharmacist, who had a form to complete.

A perfectly healthy patient came in with Federal Family Medical Leave Act forms from her employer. These forms are to be completed when patients have a serious illness that requires an extended absence from work. She had missed three days with a stomach flu so the forms did not apply. This did not matter to the Human Resources person who apparently could not take any action or make any decision unless there were forms attached.

A Plastic Surgeon’s office sent over forms for “pre-operative clearance” on a perfectly healthy 40 year old man who was getting his nose fixed. The medical literature is replete with studies and guidelines stating that such clearances are worthless and should not be performed. This does not matter to surgical schedulers. They need a form.

A medical supply company sent over forms for new CPAP supplies for a patient with sleep apnea. They needed me to write out an order for new supplies (they are replaced annually) and to submit an authorization to the insurance stating that they were needed. For the insurance I need to include the diagnosis and supporting documentation. Sleep apnea is a chronic disease that never goes away, the diagnosis never changes. The patient has had the disease for years and all of the documentation has been previously sent. This does not matter, as to dispense the supplies someone needs to complete a form.

My problem is that I resist. I try to point out to the person requesting the information that the form is useless and unnecessary. This does not compute. Their request is not a result of reason or necessity. It is a matter of policy. Trying to change a policy is futile. I would have more luck arguing with my dog about eating food dropped on the floor.

I have realized that if I try to change these policies, as foolish as they are, I will end up frustrated, angry and responding in a very non-Christian fashion. Since arguing is pointless and wastes so much of my time I have decided I have only one option left.

I have my nurse do it.

- Bart

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