By Ann-Marie Adams
The University of Connecticut’s John Dempsey Hospital has some explaining to do.
After months of requesting medical records for an emergency visit to this hospital in April, I have yet to receive all my records, primarily to prove the horror that occur on that faithful day I was forced into the hospital.
It was a scary six-month journey of encounters with medical students and doctors who seemed frighteningly out of touch with reality. And this is not hyperbole.
What was frightening to me is that they were not used to interacting with many educated black women such as myself—much less formulate a socio-psycho evaluation of me. In fact, I hardly came in contact with any black or culturally competent doctors.
I moved through the Hartford-area medical systems in a state of shock because I did not know it was that bad. The situation then turns into another nightmare when I asked for my own medical records six months ago.
According to Connecticut’s state law, doctors and medical facilities are required to promptly allow patients to review or get copies of their medical records. For John Dempsey, it has been a six-month maze, leaving me to conclude that they are covering up the big mess they caused by their “mistake.”
What was even more frightening is that they were forcing medications on me without a signed consent form. I went into the hospital on April 4, 2014 a healthy, strong woman and came out with all manner of illness. Naturally, I was curious about the details of my stay.
After waiting so long to review the information, I’m starting to believe they are hesitant about even having me review the records because there is something untoward about that faithful day. And it must be investigated.
So I was patient. I made another visit to the medical record office, and I was told that another option was to just make an appointment to review the records. I spoke to Michele Brackett, who is the supervisor of the medical reviewing unit. And a month later, I’m still waiting for an appointment—just to look at those records.
This is odd.
If John Dempsey has nothing to hide, its medical records supervisors should have had a logical explanation when I visited the office recently. They didn’t. It also occurred to me that these people are not aware of that there is a law that exists to regulate this matter. Or they just don’t care.
But it should be said in this case, John Dempsey, that it was the cover up—not the crime—that usually gets the culprits.
Perhaps it’s time for your staff to review the Hippocratic oath. It’s right here.
And send me my damn records—all of it.
Dr. Ann-Marie Adams is an award-winning journalist/historian and the founder of The Hartford Guardian. She has worked for numerous local and international publications, including The Hartford Courant, People Magazine, Washington Post, The Root, Fox News and NBC News4. She has also taught history and journalism at Howard University, Quinnipiac University and Rutgers University.