Friday, April 8, 2011

The straw that broke the camel's back... errr tooth.

If you didn’t already know this about me, I abhor the dentist. I have dedicated a number of blog entries  (“D is for Disappointment and Dentist” “D is for Dentist and Damage to My Favorite Shirt” “Tomorrow Will Be a No Good Very Bad Day”) to this well-known fact, and I don’t think my feelings will change any time soon…  ESPECIALLY after this morning.

A few months ago, I received a letter from the Dentist kindly reminding me that they are patiently waiting for my return to further torture me. I ignored this letter because I will not be coming in every 4 months or for a half year appointment. I will ONLY subject myself to that cruelty one a year. I would also like to point out that I don’t even dread my annual visit to my lady doctor as much as I despise the dentist.

Last month I got an email informing me that my dentist office had a Facebook page. After processing this news, I immediately opened my facebook site and checked my privacy settings. Brushing the sweat off of my brow, I felt a little better that the office wouldn’t be able to access my page unless I befriended them. I am not sure why my dentist is on Facebook, but I would not be one of “those” people befriending healthcare providers that already know too much about them in the first place. That is why HIPAA was created in the first place. I can remain private and I don’t have to worry about them sharing anything about me either. I chuckled to myself that out of the hundreds of clients they see annually, I was being silly to think that they would seek me out to “be friend” me, and perhaps it was just a kind, informational email that if I was extremely desperate for friends or had lost my mind and decided to be okay with the dentist, then I could befriend them.

Fast forward to this morning…

I am sitting in the vet’s office for my furbabies annual appointment. (They hate the vet as much as I hate the dentist.) Whilst day dreaming, my phone brings me back to reality with a soft melody signifying that I had just received an email from cyberspace. Bored, and nervous – waiting for the pup's lab results to come back – I open the note. It was from Twitter, letting me know I have a new follower. 


Current mindset… “How did they find me? I hate the dentist. Why do the need to be following me? I hate the dentist. Why can’t they leave me alone? I hate the dentist. Are they looking at my tweets? I hate the dentist. I bet they are going to follow me on blogger. I hate the dentist. I hope they see this entry. I hate the dentist.”

In all seriousness, I am actually quite angry about this. I do not believe that doctors or dentist should seek out to follow their patients on social sites (unless the patient initiates this first), because ultimately this is a breech in patient confidentiality. People do not need to know where I go for medical issues or dental issues unless I want them to know about it. Ultimately I can block them from following me, but I am interested to discover why they felt the need to be a "follower" in the first place. Even if they weren't intending to look at my tweets, I do not appreciate serving as an advertisement without making that decision on my own.

Perhaps this stems from my initial hatred with the dentist, but I can promise you I will not be going back to this business. After I post this, I am going to update myself on what is a HIPAA Violation and how to take action… 

Grumble… I hate the dentist.

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