Records records records

I don’t know whether or not to post this under the category of “angry” or “humor,” since it’s so infuriatingly silly it could be either.

(And I’m not quoting anyone word for word, but here’s the story recap.)

I needed Laelia’s PT, OT, Biopsy, Surgery, Newborn, Orthopedic and all her other records to go to Seattle Children’s Hospital for the Arthrogryposis Clinic.   No problem.   So I requested them on January 26th.

25 cents a page?! Fine.

Wait. Wait. Wait. Nothing.

I call my contact at Seattle Children’s. “When are your records coming?” She asks innocently. “I have to get these to the doctors ASAP!”


Our pediatrician is awesome, so one quick call to his office and Lety is rushing out the records that day. Yay!   The hospital records, on the other hand, were a whole other story.

Last month I called Rady Children’s Hospital’s customer service and got all the information (or so I thought) on requesting forms. They sent me to their website where I printed out the correct form, took it to Children’s Hospital personally, watched the lady scan it into their system, called to make sure it was being processed, and then forgot about it entirely, thinking it was being handled.   Nope.   Had my husband call them. They start out, “We didn’t get your form.”

“But it was scanned into the system last month.”
“There’s no record of that. You need to fill out the form and wait five to seven business days.”

So my smart husband waits through a ridiculous phone tree in order to call the lady who originally scanned it into the system (because we knew her name), and she verifies that it’s in there. He calls the Historical Records people back.

“Spoke to Maria and she sees our request in the system on this day.”
“Hold please.” (A looooooooooong time later, like over twenty minutes of total phone time.) “Okay we have it. But we can’t fax records this long.”
“Were you going to call us and let us know that?”
“We didn’t receive your records.”
“You obviously did.”

Oh no, nah ah. Tag. Mama Bear’s turn.

“Listen what is your normal processing time for a request for records?”
“Five to seven days.”
“So when something is sent to you on January 26th, and, say, it doesn’t take five to seven days, what happens then?”
“And even though it says NOWHERE on your website or on the form that records this big can’t get faxed, how or when do you let us know that?”
“Um… you’ll have to talk to Lisa.”
“Oh I didn’t realize I was speaking to someone who couldn’t help me.”
My foot: tap tap tap tap tap…
Lisa: “Well I can’t do anything until you fill out this whole other form anyway.”


She faxes form. I fill it out and fax it back. I hear nothing. I call back.

“I’m off work in an hour, I’ll come pick them up personally.”
“Oh no, you have to wait five to seven business days.”
“Oh, I already have. Now I want them in my hand.”
“Um, let me ask the lady who prints them out…”

(So if you didn’t catch that, the person I was speaking to before AND the person I’m speaking to now can’t help me.)

“Who? What’s her name?”
“The gal who does the printing? Oh she’s the (long title) person.” (Who apparently doesn’t own a name, poor child.)   “Oh and she says we can’t do a print job the same day of the request… so…”
“Um, we just can’t.”

Fine. So I got them the next day. Oh and that’s a fun story too. Had Lali with me, straight out of PT, and only when I showed up did I realize that the Historical Records people occupied one room in the surgery recovery building. We walked right past both of Laelia’s post-op rooms from previous overnight visits. Lali starts to squirm and cry in my arms saying, “No no no no…” I see the panic in her eyes and realize she associates this place with surgery.   I promise in a soothing voice over and over, “No surgery. Just a quick trip. No surgery, I promise.” We finally get to the door to pick up the records, and I have to request they be put in a big envelope or package and not just in a loose stack. Oh and are they heavy! Want a workout? Try juggling a two-year old, a diaper bag and a stack of arthrogryposis medical records!

After a semi-polite receptionist (who I swear rolled her eyes at me when I tried to explain why my daughter was upset), an hour in traffic and one quick breather later, I was flipping through the records and discovered 15 of my official records were blank pages, and about 20 other pages just had one or two lines on them–all of which I got charged 25 cents for! Grrrrr…

Long story short: We have achieved record-dom! (Yay!) …and only at the cost of my sanity and patience. :)

7 Responses to “Records records records”

  1. Tam says:

    you had a better time than I am having just FINDING a doctor!

  2. Lynn says:

    You guys are amazing parents. You let the paper pushers have it!! It doesn’t sound like you EVER lost logical supremacy over them! I am doing a special dance in your honor!

    Do you have a “Lali’s 25-cents-a-page records donation fund”? You should. We’d be all over it.

  3. lauren B says:

    hisssssss, if I am frustrated reading this I KNOW you were about to lose it! UGH!

  4. Anonymous says:

    that’s ridiculous! I feel a small bit of your pain!! and ditto to what Lynn said yall are amazing parents, Ellie was almost paralyzed as an infant and would need PT and I don’t know how I would handle it. (btw I know you’re happy just to have her records, but they aren’t supposed to charge you 25 cents a pg if it’s for another Dr., especially if it’s just because they’re to incompitent to fax so many pgs!) I pray for you, I hate dealing w/ Dr.’s offices!!!

  5. Maureen Casey says:


    Unfortunately your story is not unique. Please, please, please share it with your US Senator and your Congressmember! These are YOUR records (well Lali’s but until she’s of age you are the custodian of the records). The misuse of HIPAA that prevents patients from accessing their records is ridiculous!

  6. Robin Clark says:

    This is a memory to “record” for Laelia’s review at a much later date! Congrats on your tenacity.

  7. Melissa Rowe says:

    Oh man, you are much better at these things than me. Sounds super frustrating though :0

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