Two weeks ago, in the cavernous hall of surgical registration at Inova Fairfax hospital, I sat with several dozen people waiting to be called. It was six am. No one seemed happy to be there. When "Richsmargle" was announced, I waited to see if there was such a person. As no one else seemed game, I went up to the desk. A pleasant man with dreadlocks and a French accent asked if I was "Richsmargle". I said I was Cynthia Richmond. He nodded, checked the photo ID on the computer and handed me the all-important wristband with the bar code which would be swiped by everyone from food services to blood drawing technicians. Routinely, he asked me to check the birth date and spelling of my name. I looked. "My" name was spelled Khalid Houmani.
Five years years ago, in the same hospital I was asked my name and birth date every single time a hospital employee entered my room. It was quite tiresome. The Monday to Friday staff was ever-vigilant. Weekend staff was more lax, which I appreciated. Until the day I was walking the halls for exercise and one of my assigned nurses said, "Hello, Mrs. Miller."
Technology in a hospital is a good thing, as long as you check the fine print..