Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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A Radical Suggestion to Doctors

on February 16, 2010

I know it’s crazy to think that I could give advice or recommendations  to a doctor. I mean, they do know everything, don’t they? Well, no they don’t. Yes, they know a lot about health care and putting us back together when we’re broken, but apparently they know nothing  about running an office. Or maybe their appointment scheduler is the one to take issue with.

We just returned from a visit to a docotr who treated my husband last year after his car accident. he was, is, a great doc and did a fantastic job putting my husband back together. he was very professional and personable, the kind of doc you want taking care of you. someone who really cares about their work and you as a person.

Taht’s where it ends. I know he doesn’t schedule his patients, I’m not sure who’s in charge of that, he’s in one of those big group practices with at least a dozen docs. We arrived 5 minutes late for my husband’s appointment today. When he checked in, he was told nothing about any wait time, so we mistakenly assumed that it wouldn’t be long. Mistaken is the key word here. After waiting for an hour my husband finally went and asked if the doc was running behind. he was told that yes, in fact the doc was behind today and his name should be next up for this doc. Ok, well that’s encouraging at least. Ten minutes later, he’s called back. So now we’ve been in the office for 1 hour and about 20 minutes. Go to an exam room, change for an x-ray and wait some more. Finally, get the film done and wait even longer. We waited in the exam room for over an hour before the doc made it in. Seriously, we’d been there over 2-1/2 hours.

I’m sorry, but that’s just poor office management on someone’s part.  Here’s my radical suggestion to the doctors: when patients check in, have the receptionist tell them how far behind the doctor is running, so they can have the option of grabbing a bite to eat or a coffee, or maybe running a quick errand. Rather than being treated as if our time is not as valuable as theirs. It really irritates me when the doctors and their staff act as if we have disposable time to just wait for them. thankfully, neither of us are on an hourly schedule because that would’ve been really difficult.

I had a healthcare practice. I didn’t have a ‘waiting’ room, I had a reception room, a lobby because I didn’t force the people to wait because of poor scheduling. I could understand it more if the doctor had a full day and you had an emergency and they offered to ‘squeeze’ you in. But when you’ve got a regular appointment scheduled and you do what you’re supposed to, why can’t they give the courtesy of letting you know the doc is so far behind? Kind of like they do the call ahead seating in some restaurants. You check in, they pull your file and put you in a queue and tell you how many names are ahead of you and an approximate time to return so you don’t waste half your day sitting there banging your head against the wall.

Just a suggestion, docs.

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