Very OT: Waiting past your appointment at the clinic

There's this thing that bothers me about visiting dental and medical
clinics. You make an appointment, you show at your appointment time, and you
wait. Why? Clinics don't get a lot of emergency cases, so these instances
should be rare. I can understand that sometimes there will be delays, but
from what I've seen, a ten to twenty minute wait past one's appointment time
is the rule rather than the exception.
There's no excuse for this. When it becomes obvious that customers are
usually being made to wait past their appointed time, scheduling changes
should be made so that this delay becomes the exception rather than the
rule.
There are two things that make this worse. First, if they are running
behind, it is their obligation to tell the customer when they check in, and
give them the option to reschedule; but I have never heard of any healthcare
or dental clinic doing this. Second, when the customer is called in to their
appointment ten, or twenty minutes late (I have had it be as much as fifty
minutes late on occasion) no apology or even acknowledgement for the delay
is offered. The complete failure to mention let alone apologize for the
lateness indicates an attitude of utter contempt for the patients' time and
ultimately for the patient.
How are the people who run clinics able to get away with being this crass?
The only reason clinics get away with this rude treatment of their customers
is because it has been common practice in the US for so long that no one
expects anything different, so no one complains. No other businesses get
away with treating their customers like this.
There are exceptions, though. The medical clinic I go to usually has me in
the exam room with the doctor (after the nurse has taken my vitals) within
five to ten minutes of my appointment every time, even when I scheduled the
appointment earlier that same day. This clinic shows clearly that it's
possible for clinics to stick to their schedules.
Next time you have to wait more than ten minutes after your appointment to
see your doctor, complain. Not necessarily to your doctor, but definitely to
the clinic's administrators. No one deserves to be treated with contempt,
least of all people who might be suffering from some illness.
Reply to
Adam Corolla
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Most medical facilities have patients wait for a number of reasons. The short wait will bring blood pressure back to near normal as most patients have elevated pressure at first. Also, the medical profession wants you to know that you are totally on their turf, you are not a customer, you're a patient that will live or die at their whim. Those hospital gowns are designed to keep patients cowed.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Golly!
And I just thought he was talking about VA clinics...
Reply to
cavelamb himself
I wonce wez made to wait an hour past my appointment time at a medical clinic. I billed them one hour of my preemtive time ($85.00 back then) and deducted it from their invoice. No complaint. JR Dweller in the cellar
Adam Corolla wrote:
Reply to
JR North
Here in England I think we often have to wait because they try to pack too many patients into the day. Not everything can be done in a 10-minute appointment. When you book the first appointment, you can't say "I've got three things to discuss, can I have a longer appointment?". Sometimes that's a problem.
Best wishes,
Chris
Reply to
Christopher Tidy
Hm, not my docs. But I've fired more than a couple for that and for not being open to questions about my care.
They probably have no idea they're behind schedule. "I waited 45 hours and missed out on (billable rate) because of it, did you know your staff overbooks you?"
This may surprise you, but I'm not shy about complaining about it. A doctor is just another consultant, we have our own areas of talent. My clients wouldn't tolerate me being a half hour later than promised, why should I tolerate same?
Yuppers.
Yup. It can be done. Nothing unique about this doc vs that one, find one whose staff isn't useless and go there.
Oh, hell yes. I get even more irratable when I feel like shit.
Reply to
Dave Hinz
Maybe some day, you'll get something right, Tom. Today doesn't look like your day.
Reply to
Dave Hinz
I'm gonna have to try that.
Reply to
Dave Hinz
...
I try to call in and tell them that I am running late. Then ask what their schedule is like.
So they say something like "Well, we're about 20 minutes behind"...
I'm not always so diplomatic of course! :-)ooo
DOC
Reply to
doc
I agree that this is extremely annoying. Surprisingly, in this town (western KY) we have some health care people who *do* pay attention to time. My primary care physician has a sign requesting patients who have waited more than twenty minutes to please see a receptionist (WOW!). I usually get in with a five or ten-minute wait at most. And my dentist is almost always spot-on time, I sit just long enough to pick a good magazine.
It isn't always the case---my wife typically waited an hour or so at the women's clinic when she was pregnant the second time around---but certainly it seems to be better than the norm here.
Best -- Terry
Reply to
Terry
I did that once, too. Didn't get paid, but I think I got the doctor's attention.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
What are you babbling about?
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Thanks for restating my point. Once again, you rant about that which you know nothing. "live or die at their whim" is nothing more than emotionally charged bullshit, and, if you can't figure out why a hospital gown opens the way it is, you're beyond help.
Reply to
Dave Hinz
Dentists are at the mercy of how fast, or how well a patient takes the shot. Ive been known to have 3 shots, and still not be numb enough to drill, pull etc.
All that takes time as well.
Gunner
Reply to
Gunner
Five years ago, O had to go out of town for two appointments and, with my philosophy of being a half hour early rather than five minutes late, I was on my way home when the appointment time came. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
Reply to
Gerald Miller
Believe it or not, but several times I was seen over an hour before my appointed time at the local VA clinic. Once, it was almost an hour and a half early. My ride had to drop me off early those days, and another patient wasn't there on time so they moved me up, to give them another chance.
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
Oh brother, did you mix up your meds? Try decaff! Get a hooker! Kick the dog!
Reply to
Tom Gardner
On Wed, 16 Jan 2008 22:14:06 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm, Gunner quickly quoth:
Seek a new dentist who knows WTF he's doing. If they don't hit the nerve correctly, you'll -never- numb out.
I discussed that with mine before he numbed me on Tuesday for the extraction. We traded horror stories about the idiots who put the novocaine needle in and start sideswiping it like a sword under the gums. He and I agreed that two punctures were far less damaging than the swivel methods barbarian dentists used.
I learned that 3 ibuprofens + 1 acetaminophen do the work of two Vicodins, so I didn't have to take the addictive crap after all.
--- Chaos, panic, and disorder--my work here is done.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
What is particularly lovely is that if you cancel inside 24 hrs, some medical types now want to charge a cancellation fee. For those with doctors or dentists with that billing practice that get held past 10 - 15 minutes walk out. When they charge you the fee take them to small claims. Then after you win since I seriously doubt you signed a legally binding contract when you made the appointment, offer the story to the local newspaper or news channel.
You must be willing to change health care providers if you try this though.
Wes
Reply to
Wes
LOL I can't tell whether or not you're kidding, but that's funny and pretty much true as far as the turf issue. As for blood pressure, unless you run to the clinic as fast as you can, it should be pretty normal (or as normal as it is ever going to be in a doctor's exam room.)
Reply to
Adam Corolla

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