Patient vent about waiting for DR. appt.

  1. Well, I just got back from walking out of my Allergist's office. Today, I left home early to take my 3 kids to the babysitter & to make sure I made it too my my appointment on time. ( We are currently under a winter weather storm, there is ice everywhere . All schools have been cancelled and we could have easily broken arms & legs on the slippery driveways & sidewalks. I wouldn't have even gone but this was a rescheduled appointment from 2 weeks ago.)
    So, I get to the Dr.s office 20 minutes till. The very nice nurse called me back 45 minutes later , took my vitals ect, and said "the Dr. will be in shortly." I sat in the examining room for 1 HOUR waiting before I quietly walked out. I don't under stand why this happens? Shouldn't the Dr. pop his head in, or send some-one to tell me that he is running behind or give me the chance to reschedule ?
    How often does this happen? Is 1 hour 45 minutes normal to make a patient wait? Will I get charged for a visit even though he was a "No show"? Could I bill him for my time?

    I feel much better now venting to you all!

    I would have loved to have seen the expression on his face when he grabbed my chart, opened the door and no one was in there! Ohh well.
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   Antikigirl
    After three years of complaining about a 10/10 pain I would get randomly in my pelvic region (bowled me over screaming, sent to ED three times!!!) my PCP finally after all my documentation of LMP, pain times, how long, range, ED visits...all of it (almost down to the food I ate the day of these!!!) he had the sense to clear a GYN visit (had to have him approve or no insurance coverage!).

    So with hubby in tow, we went to find out what a gyn could give us as far as a dx. We waited in the lobby for 30 mins and were taken to a room. One hour later we get the message that the Doc was delievering a baby and would be back shortly. Ohhhhh an OB/GYN..thanks for the heads up! So we asked if we could reschedule..next available appt was in two months!!! OKay we stayed. Two and a half hours and she finally came in...did the exam in 2 mins..and said "oh adhesions from your c-section have obviously gotten to your bowel and ovaries so one wrong turn and boom...10/10 pain!"

    Okay..so we asked "so what can be done"....after all this...all we got was "I don't know..talk to a surgeon!"...

    UHGGGGGGGG~! I wanted to strangle her so bad!!!!!!!!

    Surgeons appt three months later was a 1 hour wait all together and a "no, we can't do anything for you because if we go in, we will make more adhesions and the probelm will be worse!".

    WHy did I have to wait 3 years and countless hours for "uhhhh duhhhhh I don't know...scars bad...no can fix".

    Finally I TOLD my doc to give me a script for Toridol IM injections prn pain...so far so great! When one hits, I take that and it is gone in 15 (does wonderfully and the doc was just going to give me vicodin...oh heck with that...if a non narc can do why not!!!!!).

    So glad my MD skills are better than all three I waited for!!!!! No wonder I have little love for them..LOL!!!!!!!

    Now when a Doc isn't there for me on time, I wait 30 minutes and reschedule..and when I get that "oh well we don't have room for you till..." I stop them and say..."NO...it was not my fault my appointment was techically cancled by your MD, so schedule me for ----- or get me your managment or MD please so we may discuss your customer service policy.". Works like a charm!!!!!!!!
  4. by   UM Review RN
    get me your managment or MD please so we may discuss your customer service policy.". Works like a charm!!!!!!!!
    Bravo!

    It's hard enough to get me to decide go to the doc, let alone go through all that. To have to go through hours of waiting just to be told I had to reschedule--well, next time I'd probably wait until something exploded and wound up in the ER.
  5. by   ktwlpn
    Quote from Tanzanite
    Well, I just got back from walking out of my Allergist's office. Today, I left home early to take my 3 kids to the babysitter & to make sure I made it too my my appointment on time. ( We are currently under a winter weather storm, there is ice everywhere . All schools have been cancelled and we could have easily broken arms & legs on the slippery driveways & sidewalks. I wouldn't have even gone but this was a rescheduled appointment from 2 weeks ago.)
    So, I get to the Dr.s office 20 minutes till. The very nice nurse called me back 45 minutes later , took my vitals ect, and said "the Dr. will be in shortly." I sat in the examining room for 1 HOUR waiting before I quietly walked out. I don't under stand why this happens? Shouldn't the Dr. pop his head in, or send some-one to tell me that he is running behind or give me the chance to reschedule ?
    How often does this happen? Is 1 hour 45 minutes normal to make a patient wait? Will I get charged for a visit even though he was a "No show"? Could I bill him for my time?

    I feel much better now venting to you all!

    I would have loved to have seen the expression on his face when he grabbed my chart, opened the door and no one was in there! Ohh well.
    If this happens often in an office it is usually a sign of double or even triple booking...I try to schedule my appoinments first thing in the am or first appoinment after their lunch break.My time is as important as the next patients and I know emergencies do happen so I will only wait for about 20 mins then I approach the desk and ask to reschedule.You should not have been left that long in the examine room without some kind of explanation-another 15 to 2o mins is my max....but you should have gone back out to the desk after maybe 20 mins to ask what was going on instead of sitting there for that length of time.I would not have just walked out-I would have asked if there was an emergency and approx how much longer would the doc be and then I would have insisted on re-scheduling.....If I am at my doc's office for any routine matter and the office appears to be swamped with sick patients I often offer to reschedule-mainly because I don't want to sit there in Germ City....I have been taken up on that offer maybe twice in 15 yrs(once when my doc had a patient code) You want to have a good working relationship with your docs and their staff....They are offering a service and you are a consumer-much better to keep it courteous instead of confrontational.....You should call to ask what the problem was-apologize for your walking out and then decide if you want to find another doc. Don't be surprised if they try to charge you for the appoinment ....Sneaking out like you did is very passive aggressive-it would have been entirely appropriate
    for you to be more assertive......Your time is valuable
  6. by   fergus51
    Especially wierd if it's an allergist. I mean, no offense, but how often do they have true patient emergencies that take up hours of their time in a day? I had a great doc when I lived in Canada and only had one really late visit because he thought it was Friday, not Thursday, and their office was closed Fridays so he didn't come in until the LPN called him to see why he was late Now, in California I have the WORST group. I have to go through my HMO's list of docs and wound up chosing a group practice and have been three times. Three different docs and all of them have been late. All of them have heard about it from me as well....
  7. by   SusanJean
    Quote from ktwlpn
    If this happens often in an office it is usually a sign of double or even triple booking...I try to schedule my appoinments first thing in the am or first appoinment after their lunch break.
    And, I believe, this is poor office practice! When my father was in practice, he ran 3 rooms, started promptly at 8am and left at 5pm, unless there was an emergency. Lunch hours were always on schedule. People were in the rooms at the time of their appts. There was time for emergencies to be filled in - one room was left open for that reason alone...and it worked well.
    This was before managed care, alas...
    I worked w/ him through high school and college and greatly appreciate the experience - and time I was able to spend w/ him.
    SJ
  8. by   SouthernLPN2RN
    I work in an office where the docs are all salaried, and that makes a big difference. If they know they have to see the pts to keep food on the table, they are more efficient. Our docs are incredibly slow. And then there's the pt who schedules a 15 min visit for a cold, then they come in with a list of other problems that take up a lot more time than originally allotted. And they bring their entire family to be worked in along with them. Sorry this turned into a bit of a vent!
  9. by   SouthernLPN2RN
    I have to add, I wish MORE pts would complain to the DOC about the amount of wait time. Maybe they'd move a little bit quicker. It's not odd at all for a pt to arrive early, wait an hour for a room and another hour to be seen.
  10. by   NurseNancyNP
    As an Nurse Practitioner and a RN, as well as a patient, I am able to see several angles in this issue. As a patient, it is extremely irritating to wait when you have an appointment scheduled. As an RN I have dealt with irrate patients who have been waiting. As a practitioner, I have been overbooked, I have had patients show up late and bring several people for one visit, and management that is focused on the financial aspects of seeing as many patients as humanly possible. Now a days many practices are run by management companies, not docs or practitioners. Try to remember that it is usually not those that you are directly dealing with that cause the hold up. When you check in ask if the practitioner is running on schedule before you have waited an hour in the waiting room. As a patient, this saves your time.
  11. by   jaimealmostRN
    I personally wouldn't QUIETLY walk out as OP stated. I'd go to the desk and let them know. Perhaps there was a mix up? Maybe the Dr. got distracted by a phone call or something and some 'gentle' nudging would bring them back to their ahem, job. It happens to everyone, but how can you get what you need by not asking for it? QUIETLY will get you nowhere
  12. by   Fuzzy
    I work for a veterinarian and rarely do clients have to wait. If there is an emergency we give them the following choices:
    1. We can reschedule the appointment;
    2. A technician (if available) can examine and treat the animal if the
    problem is in her realm of practice ie vaccinations;
    3. The animal can be left at no charge; or
    4. They can wait for the Dr.
    Now I realize that these options do not necessarily work in human medicine but the kicker is that we give the client these options if they have to wait longer than 10 minutes.

    Meanwhile at the MD's office I have had to wait and wait and wait. When I go up to find out why the Dr. is so late I get weird looks from the staff. Heck I would be happy if the Dr.'s staff would at least tell me that the Dr. is running late before I have to wait 30-60 min. At least than I can plan my day a little better. Don't get me wrong I know emergencies happen but at least the staff can give me some options (after a reasonable wait) instead of letting me read the magazines in the waiting room.

    Thanks for letting me rant.
    Fuzzy
  13. by   curleysue
    Its not unusual for the rhematologist I go to in Portland makes you wait about an hour before going into the exam room. Then the nurse does her thing with you and then it can be from 5 min to 3 hours before the doctor comes in. No apology no nothing. And the only reason why I don't just walk out or get super angry is because he is an awsome doctor who is really hard to get in and see, plus he is the one that writes my prescriptions for fibromyalgia. So, I sit there and wait, try to be patient, but boy its so hard!! Curleysue
  14. by   z's playa
    Quote from curleysue
    Its not unusual for the rhematologist I go to in Portland makes you wait about an hour before going into the exam room. Then the nurse does her thing with you and then it can be from 5 min to 3 hours before the doctor comes in. No apology no nothing. And the only reason why I don't just walk out or get super angry is because he is an awsome doctor who is really hard to get in and see, plus he is the one that writes my prescriptions for fibromyalgia. So, I sit there and wait, try to be patient, but boy its so hard!! Curleysue

    I guess we now know why he's so hard to "get in and see"!

    It's literal in this case.

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