“Biggest question: Isn’t it really ‘customer helping’ rather than customer service? And wouldn’t you deliver better service if you thought of it that way?– Jeffrey Gitomer
I M P A T I E N T L Y W A I T I N G Y O U R A P P O I N T M E N T
In this week’s Word Challenge on my partner Susan and my alternate site Weekly Prompts I chose SERVICE CENTERS as the prompt.
I chose medical clinics because I have recently had personal experiences dealing with them as a patient. While they are viewed as a boon to needy patients requiring medical assistance they are also riddled with flaws that ought to be addressed and corrected.
While the receptionists here are usually friendly and competent there are times when you start to wonder if their medical skills as a receptionist should be upgraded especially when you are at the clinic having your annual physical check up.
After you have checked yourself in at the reception desk you try to comfortably seat yourself into an uncomfortable chair while you wait for your name to be announced.
When they finally do call your name you rise to the occasion and are usually led inside the reception area and have your weight, blood pressure and height checked and listed on your medical chart by the receptionist.
There is a tragic flaw in that initial procedure: when you rise from the seat your blood pressure will rise appreciably since you have changed your position from sitting to standing and probably alarmed by the fact that your name was finally announced.
The person registering your blood pressure will jot down this elevated number and not take these variables into account. Your initial state of rest is transformed into a state of anxiety.
This happened to me this past summer when I had my annual physical. My blood pressure rate was 50 points higher than it should have been. I asked the doctor to recheck the numbers and my pressure level returned to where I expected it to be. The doctor told me that this is the flaw in the system and that patients should ask for a second reading
Another issue that concerns me is the measuring of your height and weight. One year ago I wore shoes when I stepped on the scale which elevated my general height and weight. The receptionist told me I had grown a full inch. Right. My inflated weight caused my doctor to call me chubby . I guess he believed the drivel that was written on the chart.
There is also the lack of communication between the front office records and the patient records stored on my doctor’s computer in his office. The data there must be sacrosanct because he has my former address from 12 years ago.
This presents difficulties for me when having a prescription filled. Of course the fault is mine since I forget to tell the doctor my new address. Guilty as charged I guess.
My final gripe with this clinic relates to the manner in which after hours receptionists leave a message on the phone asking you to contact the doctor’s office. This is especially confusing if a medical emergency forced you to visit another doctor after your physical. When you call the office the next day the receptionist has no idea which doctor made the call.
I think that the medical service centers are a boon to needy patients but hasten to add that many of their established and perhaps encrusted patient related techniques need a wee bit of tweaking.
Consider these points the next time you visit your family physician’s office. The false readings could upset your medical apple cart unduly.