Patient vent about waiting for DR. appt. - page 2
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... Read More
Jan 5, '05I have had probs in the past, but the docs I have here in Boston -- my Ob/gyn, my primary care, and especially the pediatric practice for my kids, rarely run late. It is something they have really been working on in all the offices (all unrelated by the way)
They all have a policy that if YOU come in 15 mins late for an appt, then you reschedule. I think you get a 2 or 3 late grace period before you start getting charged for the visits. I think, especially with the OB practice and the peds practice, it is amazing since it is not at all difficult to get a same day sick visit for either. They all have pretty large patient loads, so I think it has to do with the management of the offices. The peds/ob offices also have awesome triage phone nurses that help enormously with telling you what you need to do. I wish my primary care office had this.
I do not feel rushed by any of the practioners we see either. I guess I am just plain lucky!
Jan 5, '05If I see I'm going to be late, I call ahead and tell the nurse to put a pt before me so there aren't any delays caused by myself!
Jan 5, '05Oh...how frustrating! With four kids, my family routinely sees the GP, the pediatrician, audiologists, ENTs, ob/gyn, dentists -- you name it. I simply don't return to see docs who make me wait and I tell them so. Those who are efficient and good - I am loyal to. After moving, I still drove an hour each way to see my ob/gyn through two pregnancies and deliveries because she never made me wait. Her receptionist actually called me once on my cell an hour before my appointment because doc was delivering a baby and would be late for my appt and did I just want to reschedule.
I'm with the posters who say don't go quietly -- ask why you are waiting, ask if this is the norm and tell them you won't wait in the future so they should let you know now if you need to find a different doc. They provide a service and I pay handsomely for that service so I'm therefore never hesitant to seek out another doc who respects me by respecting my time. (Ha! That and most of them just can't wait to get mom and the four crazy kids out of their office!)
Jan 5, '05The clinic I use is really good about being on time. They have two doctors and two PAs...they only schedule one appointment per practitioner every 15 minutes (except for annual female exams, they get 30 minutes). One practitioner a day has every other time slot left open for emergnecies...if their slots end up not being filled, they will help the other practitioners out with their patients if the patients aren't particular about who they see. The practitioner who is on call for ER that day only has one appointment scheduled every hour...again, if they are not busy, they'll help the others out. Their patients are strongly encouraged to avoid the ER and they try to work non-life threatening emergencies in ASAP. If patients show up more than five minutes late, they are asked to reschedule and are usually worked in later in the same day...if you have a really good excuse for being late, you might get seen when you show up, but not usually...and if it is a routine visit, you can count on being rescheduled if you show up late. You might not get in to see your first choice of practitioner, but they're all just awesome, so very few people object to seeing someone other than their regular doctor or PA. Personally, I'm more than happy to see who ever is available. I think I have only had to wait more than five minutes in the waiting room and more than five minutes for the doctor one or twice. I have to plan in advance for things like routine wellness checks, but they really are a great clinic, so I don't object.
I hate to wait for a doctor, but...I also try to be understanding that someday it might be me in the emergency room being treated while someone else waits in the clinic. I also know that someday it might me be taking up more time than was planned for during a routine visit...if the doctor find something he didn't expect or I have more going on than I thought I did, I want to know that I am not going to be blown off so the doctor can rush off to his next patient.
Jan 5, '05i worked in several family/internal medicine clinics as well as a neurology clinic and i will tell you that if you wait an hour in the room (without an explanation) it is a clear sign of poor customer service. SOMEONE should have come in and said "ma'am the doc is running behind..can i get you a cup of water" some kind of explanation is the courteous thing to do. the neurologist i worked for always ran an hour behind. and it wasn't because he was busy, it was because he just did not care. he would sit in his office and read magazines. i would run around to all the rooms and poke my head in to see if the patient was still breathing. many patients did not leave because we did this. i think it is so sad how a lot of doctors take staff for granted as well as their patients. some docs may be good, but that is no reason to take advantage of that. now i work in the ED and people scream if they aren't seen IMMEDIATELY....oh well that's a whole other thread.