How about a round of applause for these ladies, who go out of their way to help, day after day, so much more than you probably realize? This is a little long, but I think worth it…
I do appreciate the few patients who express their gratitude and take the time to say thanks or even send a card, but I would like everyone else to consider how much they do. And maybe let them know you appreciate it.
Here are some examples:
They sit on the phone for up to half an hour or more trying to "justify" the scan I have ordered because I thought it was needed. But, apparently that is not a good enough reason. On the other end are non-medically-trained people from the insurance company (or another company they hire to do their dirty work), frequently in some other country, or even worse, a computer that can’t understand normal speech. Frequently the test it is still denied and then we are the ones who get to hear the complaints, not the insurance company.
They gladly resolve the prescription" problem" when the chain pharmacies just tell patients I had not sent them a prescription when they really had just not made the effort to check their list (you know who you are, pharmacies with 3-letter initials). It’s always easier to blame someone else, meaning us. (Independent pharmacies don’t do that, by the way, they do a better job and actually care.)
They actually pick up the phone directly when it rings.
They listen to complaints about bills, usually because insurance companies are making their customers pay more and more of your costs, and yes, we know your premiums are outrageous (so are ours). Those questions and complaints obviously should be directed to your insurance company, but have you tried to get any answers from them? Or from a big system’s billing department? Enjoy sitting on hold for hours? We are easy to get in touch with, so we are easy targets.
This is a good one: Recently, a “senior” patient had driven herself to the office not feeling well, without notice. After evaluation and recommending rest at home, she could not find a family member who could be available to drive her home (we would not let her drive herself, for safety). Two of our staff - Starr and Kelly-decided without being asked to give up their lunch and drive the patient and her car home. On the way, poor Kelly was hit in the eye by something that flew through her car window and had to miss the rest of the day at work (no good deed goes unpunished, right?). The patient was kind enough to bring a card and gift as thanks, but not a single word from her family … (You’re welcome, by the way…)
It goes on, and on, more than I can list here.
Worst of all, they have to deal with me. All day, every day…
So, next time you are here, think about what they do for you, your family and all our patients. Don't assume it is their fault if something did not work, it probably wasn't.
A smile or just “thanks” would be great!