[Probably off-topic] Mobile telephone numbers and next of kin contact

William_J_G Overington wjgo_10009 at btinternet.com
Sat Feb 21 06:46:00 CST 2015

[Probably off-topic] Mobile telephone numbers and next of kin contact./
This is probably off-topic but in view of the fact that there may well be people on this list who are working in telecommunications companies and/or are on appropriate standards committees or have contacts who are, perhaps readers will not mind.
I have identified a problem that could perhaps be solved, or maybe just greatly reduced, with an addition to the documentation that accompanies a new mobile telephone, perhaps with wording on an industry standard basis next to where the telephone number of the device is stated.
Here is the problem.
A person H has as next of kin a person J, who lives at a different address.
J has provided H with his or her mobile telephone number and H has recorded the number into his or her own medical record.
One day, for whatever reason, J changes his or her mobile telephone and has a new number.
J is busy and it just does not occur to J to inform H of the changed number.
Time passes.
One day, H is taken ill and medical staff try to contact J using the mobile telephone number that is in the medical record of H.
The medical staff cannot contact J and maybe the call reaches someone else from another family if enough time has passed and J's old number has been reassigned from the list of discontinued-use numbers.
So, it could help if every new mobile telephone were to carry a printed message next to where the telephone number of the device is stated, such as the following.
If you are the next of kin of someone, please remember to inform him or her of this new telephone number and mention that he or she needs to have it added into his or her medical record.
Lots of people might make such a notification anyway, but some people may not and there seems no way to know how big is the problem of out-dated contact information in medical records around the world.
William Overington
21 February 2015
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