Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Reminder Calls

We're pretty good about calling patients the day before their appointments to remind them.

Phone call today: "Hi, this is Mrs. Sumdood. What time is my appointment today?"
Look at book. Answer: "That's at 1:30 this afternoon."
Mrs. Sumdood: "Thanks. See you then."

Not-on-vacation staffer walks back in from getting the mail.

Me: "Mrs. Sumdood called to confirm what time her appointment was."
NOV Staffer: "She made that appointment yesterday."


At Tue Aug 28, 07:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WTF? Does she have Alzheimers? Depression? Something else that would keep her from remembering her appointment that she'd made the day before? O_o

PS- Your practice will not be hurt by retail health clinics. :D

At Tue Aug 28, 08:43:00 PM, Blogger Lynn Price said...

Sounds like me after I've had a lovely dinner out with the Mr. "Uh, honey, where'd we park the car?"

At Tue Aug 28, 09:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've called the day after I've made an appointment, to double check the time. Sometimes, if I haven't written the time down, I can't remember if the appointment's at 1 or 1:30.

Which would you rather have, Dr. Dino - a patient who forgets and comes at the wrong time, or someone who shows up on time, because they had the good sense to call and confirm the appointment time?

Personally, I don't much care if office staff thinks I'm ridiculous. I don't think much of most of them, either. Believe it or not, patients make fun of office staff for losing paper work, being unable to look things up on a computer, unable to return phone calls, unable to work a fax machine, unable to locate your chart, unable to figure out how to use scheduling software, unable to keep from having personal conversations when a patient is waiting to sign in or give their copay, unable to give a simple message to a doctor, unable to find lab work results or reports from specialists.

The list goes on and on. Like office staff have gripes about patients, patients have gripes about office staff. Personally, I think they comprise one of the worse aspects of receiving medical care.

At Tue Aug 28, 09:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once went for my Friday appointment, got a babysitter, etc. Signed in and sat down.
The doc's staff were "Excuse me, can I help you?"
"I have an 11 am appointment."
Frantic clicking on computer, "What is your name?"
"Sorry, your appointment is Monday."
Embarassed scratching name off register and leaving with red cheeks.

At Wed Aug 29, 08:43:00 AM, Blogger BillyBob said...

Maybe she also pours the orange juice in her coffee, and puts the half and half in the cupboard, and goes in the bathroom and stares for God knows how long, and then deletes computer files...

At Wed Aug 29, 08:54:00 AM, Blogger Bookhorde said...

Yeah, I've done that. Beats showing up at the dr's on the wrong friggin day.

At Wed Aug 29, 11:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean... she can actually call one day and get an appointment for the next day?

Wow. I usually have to wait 3-4 weeks.

Maybe she wrote it down and then either lost her note or couldn't read her handwriting. It's happened to me too, and I feel like an idiot to have to call again... but better that than to show up at the wrong time.

Cut her some slack, fer cryin' out loud.

At Wed Aug 29, 12:29:00 PM, Blogger CrankyProf said...

(Uh, I did this yesterday -- called the pediatrician to make an appt. for Squeaker, and by the time I got home and had my date book in front of me, had to call back to get the time right. I is retreaded lately.)

At Wed Aug 29, 08:31:00 PM, Blogger #1 Dinosaur said...

CrankyProf: You have an excuse: we call it "placenta brain."

Everyone else: We cut her (and everyone else) plenty of slack. It still doesn't mean we don't get the chuckles from time to time. Also, I found out the next day that this particular patient had lost both her parents since her last visit, which was in March. No problem to re-remind her as much as she liked.


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