“Look, sir,” she stated firmly, including her own hint of annoyance, “I am perfectly capable of working this system. I am telling you, no one with your last name has ever been a patient here. My files are all electronic and include all patients over the last forty years since the original practice was opened. The backups are done routinely and have a program in them to validate that all files are complete. So you can go back and check your information,” she finished, then reached for the phone to counteract his clearly growing anger.
Jacob moved his hands palm open, signaling peace between them. “Alright, alright, no need to panic. I am angry but not at you. Nor am I the violent type. It just makes no sense to me, and I am fairly certain this is the correct practice and Dr. Kent is the man. Perhaps you can give me a phone number where he is located, and I will contact him directly. I would like to stay with someone that I know and that knows me. I am sure you can appreciate that.” He smiled, trying to remove the rising concern from his voice.
“No way, Mr. Michaels, would I give you any information. You could be some sort of kook, for all I know. Now you aren’t a patient, and I want you to leave this office, or I will call the police,” she said as she held the handset on her ear with fingers poised to dial.
“Come on, there is no need for that, Miss ummm Carol,” as he glanced at the name tag on the desk. “Is the Office Manager going to be here so that perhaps the paper patient folders could be looked at?”
He did know they used a color banded system that really did not correlate to patient names but some other number they associated with his as a way to protect his health information.
Just then the door opened, and a lady walked in like she owned the place. “Carol, I thought we had agreed today was a cleanup day and no patients? Is there anything going on that you need to tell me about, and why is the door unlocked?” She stated in a no nonsense tone.
The woman clearly looked at Jacob intently, and he noticed her hand was in her purse, as if it held a weapon or pepper spray companion.
Jacob quickly recapped the situation from his perspective, tossing no blame on Miss Carol. Without a word, Mrs. Peters, as she introduced herself, stepped around the desk and then seemed to retry the search.
“Nope, you are not in here, and frankly I do not recognize your face, but then I have been here for just a year. Without finding you in our system, there is really no way to begin to search for you in our paper files. We have had over 25,000 patients here over the length of this practice. Those files more than three years old are located in offsite storage. I am sorry, but we cannot help you, Mr. Michaels.” She smiled like a true professional but clearly indicated there was no more to discuss.
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