You’re sitting in the waiting room for your doctor/dentist/acupuncturist, and the nurse calls your name — it’s finally your turn to be seen. If you have a somewhat unique name like mine, chances are you’re the only one standing up.
But as I learned last weekend from Rachel, my brother’s girlfriend, when you have a common name and you’re in a crowded waiting room, sometimes confusion can ensue.
PROBLEM: To avoid any possible violation of HIPAA, many waiting rooms will call people with just a first name, and no last name. So there’s no easy way to specify which Rachel is up.
REJECTED SOLUTION: Receptionists could assign a number to each patient, and then call them up like at a deli. But I imagine most people don’t like the impersonal feeling of being referred to as a number.
LIA’S SOLUTION: After each patient signs in, shows proof of insurance, and validates parking, he or she must choose an alias. Patients can choose from a list, or suggest names of their own. Then, when the doctor is ready for you, the nurse will call you by your alias. Only rule: The name can’t be the same one as someone that morning.
- Monica Lewinsky
- Anne of Green Gables
- Sammy Sosa
- Tina Fey
- Captain Picard
- Kim Jong-il
- Scarlett O’hara
- Ferdinand Magellan
- Glinda, Good Witch of the North
- Jean Valjean/24601
- President William Henry Harrison
Is there a Snooki here? You’re up.