Overreaction or Subtle Subterfuge? You Decide!

I had Logan at our pediatrician’s office today (Children’s Physicians) when they presented something new and rather cool — so I thought! It’s called Children’s Connect — an internet-based way to communicate with your pediatrician. You can schedule appointments, access important information, manage medication and email your doctor. I thought this sounded cool, esp. since we would be the only ones who had access to the information, besides the doctor of course, because of login names and passwords.

Now, I realize this is a convenience for the parents and it is not mandatory, but what concerns me is the mentality behind it. On the consent form it says, “If your child is age 14-18, you will be granted partial access to your child’s Children’s Connect record [e.g., appointment scheduling, immunizations].”

The nurse came in to ask if I was done filling it out. I asked about the above statement and she said parents can still obtain the information, but they have to ask for it from the office to obtain a hard copy — not on the Children’s Connect access. She said this was put into place in order to protect the confidentiality between the patient and the doctor. She said, “For example, let’s say your child wants to discuss birth control options, and he/she doesn’t want you to know.” WHAT?!?!??!?!………………… We are talking about children ages 14-18 here!!!!

I told the doctor that I didn’t like it and that a 14 year old should not have “confidentiality” without the parent being involved. HE AGREED! He said he didn’t think confidentiality should begin until the child is 18. In my humble opinion, confidentiality between patient and physician should not start until the patient is paying for his/her own medical care!!!

To me whether Children’s is aware of this or not, this is a direct subterfuge to drive a wedge between parents and children!!! I am glad that my pediatrician feels the same way I do about this. That’s why I drive all the way to Papilllion to see him when I live on the opposite side of town.

Needless to say, I took the form back from the nurse and said I would not be signing it and I would be obtaining my child’s medical information the old-fashioned way.