Articles

It’s Time to Implement a Timesavings Plan: Learning to Communicate Effectively with Your Physician’s Office

Reminding myself here…to be an advocate for those on both sides of the medical arena with my attitude and my actions.

With time at an all time premium, it only makes “cents” to learn the best ways to communicate with every physician’s office (for your sake and that of the office staff). Just about everyone has had at least one experience when they’ve felt frustrated waiting longer than they anticipated. This waiting too long can be felt in both in the scheduling department and the literal waiting room itself.

While everyone’s time is valuable, it appears that mutual understanding is not nearly so equitable. Patients grouse and complain about not getting their needs met fast enough. Physicians and their staff grow weary trying to explain and accommodate these same patients. Individuals from either position end the day exasperated and feeling misunderstood.

The remedy? Examine the cure-alls (for every disagreeable bone in your body) listed below and see if they don’t cure what ails you in the attitude department.

When Scheduling Physician’s Appointments Always —

1. Be realistic

Society in general tries to cram 30 hours of work into a 24-hour day. Patients often schedule appointments on top of other appointments and then become frustrated if something gets thrown off track. (Always leave enough wiggle room.)

2. Don’t wait until the last minute

People frequently wait until the last minute to call for an appointment
or prescription refill and then become frustrated when they are not
accommodated accordingly. From an office standpoint, extenuating
circumstances are understood. However, it is very frustrating when a
patient calls last minute with a request that should/could have been
addressed sooner.

3. Be understanding of others and their situations

It is difficult when someone is in pain or in a hurry to think of other people, but patients need to realize that doctors often run behind because they have had an emergency add-on or someone else needed alonger appointment. If patients would step back and understand that somebody else was in greater need on that particular day, it would ease tensions all around.

4. Communicate effectively

This goes both ways, for patients and office staff alike. People can get so much further if they just communicate in an effective manner. Common courtesy and honesty goes a long way (in the doctor/patient relationship as well as in life in general). Unfortunately, some patients think being difficult is what works.

While this may produce a desired immediate result, it is not worth the
long-term compromising of one’s relationships and reputation as a reasonable patient.

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