Last week I wrote about why you would look for a new doctor. But what if you love your healthcare practitioner but dealing with their office is a nightmare. The doctor is healthy but their office is sick! Perhaps you were given an appointment and then the day of the visit you received a call telling you that the appointment was cancelled. Or even worse, you get to the office and they tell you that the doctor will not be able to see you today because he is out of town. Or maybe getting through to the office means a good half hour to forty minute hold on the phone listening to music interrupted every 30 seconds by a nice voice telling you how important your call is to them. Then again you may only be able to leave a voicemail only to find they don’t return your calls or if they do, its after such a long time that you took yourself to the walk in clinic or the emergency room. If you weren’t very sick before the call, you certainly are by then.
Frustrated? Furious? Do you throw your arms up in disgust and submit and accept the subpar service? Or do you find another doctor and hope and pray their office is more efficient and effective?
Maybe you do it all. But here are some suggestions that might help you feel like you have options:
- Punch a pillow, take a walk, or find an outlet for your frustration first before taking action. I personally take a vigorous walk and then clean a closet or drawer imagining that I’m cleaning out all those staff members that are ineffective. Better yet, here is some scripture to help soothe the beast in you:
“If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. – Matthew 19:15-16
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).
- Call the office and ask to speak to a manager. If no manager is employed, ask to have the doctor call you back personally. If you are on good terms with his/her personal nurse then that may be an option.
- Lay out exactly the issue(s). Be specific and factual, not emotional. State the problem.
- Don’t just state the problem, but be prepared to come up with a solution. How you wish the problem to be resolved? Make sure it is something that is possible to do as a standard of care or protocol and not something that would not be logistically serviceable.
- If after you have tried the above without resolution; call and make an appointment with the healthcare professional without giving a purpose other than “I am unwell”.
- In that appointment restate your issue and your solution.
- Listen to the physician. It may be that they are undergoing staff issue and are already aware. You are probably not the first patient to have your issue but with your help you could be the last one. The physician has a right to know when their business is in jeopardy. And believe me, their practice is a business. And you are the consumer. As you have a right to good healthcare service; they have a right to know how they are doing.
- If all these measures fail, then it may be time to find another doctor and practice. See next week blog post on Doctor Shopping – How to find a doctor.
Being healthy and living in the world of ever changing healthcare isn’t easy and it takes effort and stamina. But finding a physician and practice that works together to bring you optimum health care is worth the effort. And when you find such a practice; you can rest and be reassured that your health and well-being is truly important to them and not just you.
Thank you for reading my post. If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it. Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!
I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts. To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com
Blessings for Health & Wellness.