2 responses

  1. meltoots
    March 11, 2016

    Cute, obviously she never worked in the front line of medical patient care. She would quit in 2 days. There is NOTHING consistent about healthcare except inconsistency. Do I ensure customer satisfaction if the only reason they are visiting me is to get a day off work or narcotics? That happens daily. I should just “Make them happy” and give them what they want? Really? Its not a CUSTOMER VENDOR relationship, its a doctor patient relationship. I don’t always tell you what you want to hear, nor give you what you want. She also has never been aggravated to death on patients demanding how and when they want to be communicated, at no convenience of your time, even while driving? Should I pull over and answer my phone if I am driving as its best for the patient, every time? All day and night? I should never sleep? Again its cute but not realistic at all.

  2. R Troy
    March 11, 2016

    To meltoots; I see it your way, but I think there are some ‘service’ points to keep in mind, though your ‘crowd’ or patient mix has a huge affect on how they are ‘serviced’. If junkies at a methadone clinic…

    A week ago I witnessed a whole series of ‘very bad customer service’. Patient is in doctor’s office, has blood test that indicates an immediate need for a trip to the ER (not quite ambulance level yet). Doctor has to get orders to the hospital for a complex treatment scenario, once patient is at the hospital there is a whole list of things for pharmacy and nursing, little for doctors. ER might add EKG. ER wants to add routine blood tests (all actually done earlier in office). All the patient’s doctor needs to do is get the orders the 5 miles from his office to the ER. Supposedly his office has a ‘terminal’ for the hospital’s EHR – but oops – ER EHR doesn’t communicate with hospital EHR. So we need a very detailed fax. But 6 hours after the decision was made, and 5 hours after patient arrived in ER, the orders had not yet arrived. And no one told the patient that’s why treatment had not begun. When that news got out, it took a difficult, pushy call to the doctor’s service before the doctor could be reached and orders given orally by cell phone to an ER doctor; treatment began minutes later. And at least one med that should have been included (non-critical) was not included. Oh, and it also took many more hours to get a hospital room for the patient – and that’s done internally by phone calls and faxes.

    A couple days later, a hospitalist tried to delay the patients departure while looking for more blood tests to be done. Given the circumstances, it was inappropriate, and the actual specialists were quite ready to have the patient discharged once the treatment was complete. Eventually, a resident filling in for the now off-for-the-night hospitalist signed off on the discharge, all done on paper, with no viable discharge instructions. And no indication that the doctor’s office had any viable report back to his practice and its EHR.

    Point being; this was very poor customer service. The doctor did not ensure that the orders got through – and they didn’t. The ER staff did not tell the patient the truth about the delay (the nurse thought it was a pharmacy problem). And in the meantime, a very valuable ER bed was occupied for several hours with no treatment going on while many others waited for a bed for their own issues.

    Customer service would be far better if the doctor’s practice had a modern EHR based method to transmit the orders to the ER on a timely basis, if the ER had an EHR linked to the rest of the hospital, etc. If the hospital EHR reported the specialists decision to discharge the patient. And it being clear that the doctor would get a timely final report on the patient stay. To me, that should be the point of an article like this – customer service under difficult circumstances, surrounding great communications. Imagine that patient having only an hour or two in the ER instead of maybe 12 – 24 hours, and that valuable ER bed freed up much sooner, and the treatment done in the correct ‘ward’ (which has the specialty knowledge that the ward the patient was sent to did not). This whole thing was a comedy of errors, and a great example of awful customer service, and horrific waste of valuable hospital resources. It could have been prevented by good communication among the various medical entities.

    Beyond that, sure – good portal use, all that helps. But it’s only a small part of the problem.


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