Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Reminding Myself to Have Patience With Patients

I posted a while ago (like over a year and change ago) about a particular experience with a potential patient at my last practice. (You can find that story here.) Today, while in no way comparable to the woman in the story referenced above, I did receive a rather odd request.

Today I called a patient to schedule her for a follow up to her MRI she recently had done. Now, this patient is a difficult patient in many ways, but to give you the short list, here we go:
  • Very rude woman
  • Demands things be done her way and NOW.
  • Terrible at returning phone calls/messages.
I even turned to TCI (The Crazy Italian for those that don't know) and asked her "what do you want to bet that I don't even get her when I call and if I do, she won't have her schedule there and will want me to call her back?"

I was right, to a point.

When she answered, I was floored. I was right though in the fact that she didn't know her schedule, so she asked me to call back, HOWEVER in my defense, when she picked up the phone I asked her "is this a good time?" she said yes! So, if it really isn't a good time, maybe you shouldn't answer your cell phone...just a thought though. Anyways, I asked her if she was available either of the times I had available and she said 'sigh No, I need a later appointment, so you need to ask Dr. M when he is willing to stay late for me to come and see him.'

I'm sorry, what? Where on earth do you think you can schedule an appointment with a doctor AFTER HIS LAST APPOINTMENT?? I know that this woman comes from a bit of a drive, and I know that the drive can be bothersome, but COME ON...if you have to have a follow up visit with your radiation ONCOLOGIST...you might tell work to shove it for a couple hours so that you could go to your doctor's appointment.

I swear...some people's children...wow.

UPDATE: I just had a phone call from a patient who I am working on getting a prior authorization for his procedure. Sadly his was one of the ones I just didn't get to before the Thanksgiving holiday. I explained to him how I was going to TRY to get to it today if not first thing tomorrow. Apparently this wasn't enough for him. He just left our nurse a *wonderful* voicemail. I cut our patients a lot (and I mean a LOT) of slack but I have to stop and wonder at times if patients think all there is to it is just calling and talking to one person. NO. Most times, this takes me 3 phone calls, submission of clinical data and sitting on hold for a very. long. time. Also, I don't just do prior authorizations. I do scheduling, I order supplies, I manage 2 very busy and slightly high strung doctors, a nurse and a therapist as well as maintaining billing and checking patients in and out. You think my job is that easy? YOU come sit here for a day and tell me how you feel at the end.

Ok, I"m off my soapbox now...sheesh.

1 comment:

Barefootin said...

People constantly amaze me!!! The gall - can you stay late just for me LOL