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Editor's Note
June 14, 2021

A Response to Excessive Screening Questions

Author Affiliations
  • 1NYC Health and Hospitals, New York, New York
  • 2Deputy Editor, JAMA Internal Medicine
JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181(9):1255. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.2925

Recently, JAMA Internal Medicine published a firsthand account of a trauma survivor who had disclosed over a series of years on multiple self-administered screenings that she had experienced trauma,1 yet none of her health care clinicians had ever followed up with her or provided any support or resources. In reading her account, I wondered how many of her clinicians had even seen the screening questionnaires she completed.

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    2 Comments for this article
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    I agree
    Paul Kleeberg, MD | Retired
    As a no-longer practicing physician, I have developed health issues that require visits to multiple clinicians. These screens take time to complete online before the visit and sometimes are not appropriate. When I see the clinicians I have no clue that they have read them. One had a red flag about depression (situational) which was not addressed, another clinician asked me the same questions that were in the online questionnaire I had completed (I asked if they had read my survey responses - they had not) and finally I had been asked several smoking questions after I was diagnosed with cancer. One was if my oncologist had advised me to quit. It was a Wilms tumor when I was 6 months old so the questions were not relevant. When I mentioned it to the hematologist for whom I completed the survey, she shrugged it off.

    Just like well documented alert fatigue, I am tempted to shrug these off. They do not seem to save me anytime before or during the visit
    CONFLICT OF INTEREST: None Reported
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    Excessive screening
    Kathryn Borgenicht, MD |
    A similar problem occurs when patients are transferred and each time are asked if they are DNR. One 92 year-old patient, after being asked about this in the 4 different places she was transferred to, finally said "I am full code" because she didn't want to be asked again. We definitely need to be more sensitive to the repetition that occurs in medical settings.
    CONFLICT OF INTEREST: None Reported
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