Bad form!

I stopped by the eye doctor’s office yesterday to scout out frames and make an appointment for an exam. As I was making the appointment, the clerk handed me a Medical History Questionnaire.

I hate filling out medical history forms, generally. And I’d rather not think about it over the weekend; can’t this wait until my appointment on Monday?

However, I took the form. I started filling it out later in the day. I haven’t completed the form yet, though, because it’s a very poorly designed form.

Forms may be boring to layout or design, but clarity in communication is essential in a form.

I can’t tell if the line for email is wanting my e-dress, my “parent’s” email, my doctor’s email, my parent’s spouse’s email or my spouse’s email. And why does the form ask for my parent’s “information” (with only one line), anyway? (Name is the next line, I’ll guess that’s asking for my parent’s name; this is followed by birth date and Social Security number. So what’s the “information”? And why are we talking about my parents again? Usually such forms, in my experience, ask for a parent’s name and Social only if the patient is a minor. This form has no such stipulation.

Then we get to the medical history part of the form. “Do you currently, or have you ever had any problems in the following areas:” The list, with accompanying check boxes, includes muscle pain, fever, runny nose, diarrhea and constipation. The better question would be, who hasn’t ever had these symptoms. And what does this tell the eye doctor?

The list also includes “loss of vision” and “blurred vision.” Aren’t these usually the reasons people go to the optometrist? Especially since the person I’ll hand the form to already knows, from page one, that I do indeed wear glasses already.

The worst part about this check list, though, beyond the fact that I’m forced to mark Yes even though it’s medically useless, is that I have to explain every Yes.

I think I may return this form incomplete, and voice my concerns about it in person. This form needs to be redone, if not tossed so the new form’s creation isn’t hampered by this idiocy.


One response to “Bad form!

  1. I, too, hate medical forms, but perhaps for different reasons: I come from a genetic cesspool and would rather not contemplate my likely inheritance of such dreadful genes. There’s not a man on my father’s side of the family who’s lived past 60 (and my father, at 58, isn’t likely going to break this trend, either). I can check off a family history of literally everything; cancer, lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure issues – EVERYTHING.

    …Well, I suppose not EVERYTHING – no one has lived long enough to exhibit Alzheimer’s symptoms yet….

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