Dr. Gail Binelli was reviewing David Swanson’s office file. Great care was always made to document Swanson’s malaria attacks as each being the same. She also made sure that her office notes matched those of the hospitals where Swanson was taken after each episode. Swanson had a medic alert bracelet notifying its reader to call her emergency phone number in the event he was found anywhere in a confused or delirious state.
She had clearly documented the association of memory loss with each of Swanson’s falciparum crisis situations. Binelli especially noted that Swanson was always alone prior to discovery of his semi-conscious state. Feeling satisfied that nothing suspicious could be derived from her meticulous entries; she started to close the file when her phone rang.
“Who? Detective Nosh? Yes, I’ll take the call.” Binelli’s pulse increased. She’d had interactions with the police department in the courts with other patients, as every physician who practices medicine does. This however, would be the first one about David Swanson. She crossed her fingers hoping that it would not be about him although her gut reaction was usually correct.
“I’m calling about a patient of yours currently being treated for malaria. You saw him at an emergency room recently.”
“Detective Nosh…am I my pronouncing your name correctly?” She paused for the answer. “Okay, first I have no way of knowing you really are a credentialed police officer. Secondly, I can’t discuss confidential patient matters with other than HIPAA authorized individuals. That being said, how can I help you?”
“Actually, Dr. Binelli, I’m just getting out of my car at the medical building and heading up to your office. I understand your professional response and will be there directly.” She hung up.
Binelli stared at the dead phone. Well I have nothing to hide. This Nosh didn’t even mention the patient’s name but of my two chronic malaria patients, it has to be about Swanson.
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