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Old 10-11-2011, 11:03 AM
 
48 posts, read 542,394 times
Reputation: 69

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I would've posted this in an etiquette forum, but I couldn't find one.

I took an elderly friend and her husband to their scheduled doctor's appointment and when we got there the receptionist mentioned something about the appointment not being in the system. So she went back to ask the doctor if he could take them in. From what I could tell, I don't think the doctor (also the owner) was aware that someone (or the computer) screwed up and that the scheduled appointment wasn't showing up on the computer, so they weren't expecting anymore patients that day. I think the doctor thought that we just walked in. I thought about saying something to the doctor, but wasn't sure it was my place to do so since it wasn't my appointment.

As it was, the doctor didn't take in my friend and her husband until an hour after the scheduled appointment, and that was at their closing time. So we felt like the examination was rushed. Usually the doctor likes to take his time, but he seemed like he was hurrying to get us out. We were there for two hours (one hour waiting, 20 min for each exam plus 20 min for miscellaneous stuff) and I find this to be completely unacceptable, especially since there was no apology and no acknowledgement that it was their fault. I asked my friend if she was sure she had written the correct day and time down and she said she double checked with the receptionist when she made the appointment as she always does.

The thing is that I've been going to that doctor for years so he knows me. I've been trying to get a job there and he's hoping to hire me when business picks up. He just opened the office about two months ago. So, the receptionist's screwup makes me look bad, as well as my friend.

I feel like the doctor should be made aware of what really happened. I assume that if he had known, he would have apologized. If this had happened to me and it was my first time going there and I didn't know the doctor, I would have been angry, told them off and walked out. I would have never gone back. This kind of thing is bad for business, especially a new one. They're lucky both me and my friend can overlook this. Although my friend's husband was very upset, but never said anything. I feel like the doctor should know, especially since he is the owner.

Should I say something to the doctor? I have to go back today or tomorrow to pick up a written precription for my friend. Should I ask to speak to the doctor and tell him how I feel? Should I call instead? Thoughts? Opinions?
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,865 posts, read 57,895,281 times
Reputation: 19182
Send him a letter. Wait an hour or two after writing it before mailing it so you are sure you come off as polite and professional, not pissed off.
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:43 PM
 
48 posts, read 542,394 times
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Hmm... That sounds like a good idea, but I'm afraid it might be overkill in this situation. If it was just a regular doctor where we only had a doctor-patient relationship, I would definitely write a letter as that sounds like it would be the most appropriate method to voice my unhappiness.

However, this doctor and I have a different kind of relationship. He has told me more than once that I don't need to be so formal with him. Since his new practice opened, he's been showing me around the place where only employees are allowed to go and showing me how his fancy new equipment works. I feel like writing him a letter might not be the best way to handle this. I suppose I could write an informal email. I'm not mad at him or anything so there's no reason why I couldn't talk to him about this in person or over the phone. I guess I'm just not sure if I should talk to him about this at all. I should have said something when it happened.
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:09 PM
 
15,406 posts, read 20,587,676 times
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Every doctor whom I use (and there are at least a half dozen of them) has his office assistant call the day before my appointment to ensure that I'm aware of the appointment the next day. I'm surprised to hear that your doctor doesnt do that. At the least, the office staff should have given your friend an appointment card with the day and time of the next appointment written on it.

So you might suggest that he start using appointment cards and/or calling clients the day before to remind them of appointments. You might even include mention of the office help's mixup -- but only if you're absolutely sure that your elderly friend is correct. And, to be honest, I dont know how you can be sure if your friend had no proof of the appointment.

I'd probably just write it off as mis-communicaton and let it go. It'd have been nice if the office assistant had apologized -- but, if the mistake wasnt hers (or anyone else's at the office), there'd have been no reason for her to do so.
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:28 PM
 
48 posts, read 542,394 times
Reputation: 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasfirewheel View Post
Every doctor whom I use (and there are at least a half dozen of them) has his office assistant call the day before my appointment to ensure that I'm aware of the appointment the next day. I'm surprised to hear that your doctor doesnt do that. At the least, the office staff should have given your friend an appointment card with the day and time of the next appointment written on it.

So you might suggest that he start using appointment cards and/or calling clients the day before to remind them of appointments. You might even include mention of the office help's mixup -- but only if you're absolutely sure that your elderly friend is correct. And, to be honest, I dont know how you can be sure if your friend had no proof of the appointment.

I'd probably just write it off as mis-communicaton and let it go. It'd have been nice if the office assistant had apologized -- but, if the mistake wasnt hers (or anyone else's at the office), there'd have been no reason for her to do so.

They do have a receptionist call a day before the appointment. My friend said she never received a call and the appointment had been made over the phone, so there was no card. But she's certain she got the date and time correct, she called me right after she made the appointment. The receptionist must not have entered it into the computer correctly, or there is a bug in the software.

Does anyone else have opinions? I'd like to get as many as I can before I decide what to do. Thanks.
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:38 PM
 
5,298 posts, read 11,485,288 times
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I don't see where an apology is required??

If I understand this correctly your elderly friend "wrote down" her appt time and date? Yet it wasn't in the system and they didn't receive a reminder call the day before.

It may well have been an error on the part of the front desk staff but it could just as easily been an error on your friend's part. No way to prove it either way.

According to your story, the patients were still seen (within an hour of an appt that wasn't scheduled for that day, regardless of who's mixup it was, your friend did NOT have an appt but certainly other patient's did) you also state that the doctor spent about 20 mins with each patient, which is about all most patients are scheduled for these days.

So what exactly is the problem? Patient shows up, no appt in the system, still seen that day within an hour of their "non scheduled appt", Dr spends what is the typically allotted time with them and they are sent on their way.

Trust me, there are plenty of practices that would have made your friends reschedule for another day under the same circumstances.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:33 PM
 
2,676 posts, read 3,836,840 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedevilz View Post
I don't see where an apology is required??

If I understand this correctly your elderly friend "wrote down" her appt time and date? Yet it wasn't in the system and they didn't receive a reminder call the day before.

It may well have been an error on the part of the front desk staff but it could just as easily been an error on your friend's part. No way to prove it either way.

According to your story, the patients were still seen (within an hour of an appt that wasn't scheduled for that day, regardless of who's mixup it was, your friend did NOT have an appt but certainly other patient's did) you also state that the doctor spent about 20 mins with each patient, which is about all most patients are scheduled for these days.

So what exactly is the problem? Patient shows up, no appt in the system, still seen that day within an hour of their "non scheduled appt", Dr spends what is the typically allotted time with them and they are sent on their way.

Trust me, there are plenty of practices that would have made your friends reschedule for another day under the same circumstances.
Ditto.

Also, if you want a job, it may be seen as petty to even write a letter. Let it go.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:07 AM
 
14,183 posts, read 15,234,597 times
Reputation: 11999
Quote:
Originally Posted by ittle View Post
They do have a receptionist call a day before the appointment. My friend said she never received a call and the appointment had been made over the phone, so there was no card. But she's certain she got the date and time correct, she called me right after she made the appointment. The receptionist must not have entered it into the computer correctly, or there is a bug in the software.

Does anyone else have opinions? I'd like to get as many as I can before I decide what to do. Thanks.

let it go. as "sure' as your friend is she may be mistaken.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:34 AM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
16,244 posts, read 27,777,831 times
Reputation: 21574
Quote:
Originally Posted by ittle View Post
I would've posted this in an etiquette forum, but I couldn't find one.Etiquette works from both sides of the reception desk.

I took an elderly friend and her husband to their scheduled doctor's appointment and when we got there the receptionist mentioned something about the appointment not being in the system. So she went back to ask the doctor if he could take them in. From what I could tell, I don't think the doctor (also the owner) was aware that someone (or the computer) screwed up and that the scheduled appointment wasn't showing up on the computer, so they weren't expecting anymore patients that day. I think the doctor thought that we just walked in. I thought about saying something to the doctor, but wasn't sure it was my place to do so since it wasn't my appointment. What would you say? About all you could say is that you thought that the appointment was today and you are sorry for any inconvience that this additional appointment may cause the Doctor and his staff. I would also thank him for seeing you even though a mistake has taken place.

As it was, the doctor didn't take in my friend and her husband until an hour after the scheduled appointment, and that was at their closing time. So we felt like the examination was rushed. Usually the doctor likes to take his time, but he seemed like he was hurrying to get us out. We were there for two hours (one hour waiting, 20 min for each exam plus 20 min for miscellaneous stuff) and I find this to be completely unacceptable, especially since there was no apology and no acknowledgement that it was their fault. I asked my friend if she was sure she had written the correct day and time down and she said she double checked with the receptionist when she made the appointment as she always does.
Did you offer an apology to them? A mistake happened and someone either forgot to type in the appointment or someone didn't get an appointment. Much more cordial to take responsibility and say that your friends may have made a mistake. Then ask if it is possible to fit you in even if you have to wait. Not sure how that office works but of the offices that I know of and work in the person taking the appointment types it in the computer at the time of getting the appointment.
The thing is that I've been going to that doctor for years so he knows me. I've been trying to get a job there and he's hoping to hire me when business picks up. He just opened the office about two months ago. So, the receptionist's screwup makes me look bad, as well as my friend. How does it make you look bad? You don't work there right now.

I feel like the doctor should be made aware of what really happened. I assume that if he had known, he would have apologized. If this had happened to me and it was my first time going there and I didn't know the doctor, I would have been angry, told them off and walked out. I would have never gone back. This kind of thing is bad for business, especially a new one. They're lucky both me and my friend can overlook this.You don't seem to be able to overlook this or you wouldn't have posted here. Although my friend's husband was very upset, but never said anything. I feel like the doctor should know, especially since he is the owner.

Should I say something to the doctor? I have to go back today or tomorrow to pick up a written precription for my friend. Should I ask to speak to the doctor and tell him how I feel? Should I call instead? Thoughts? Opinions?
Lets say that a mistake has occured. Isn't that all it is, just a mistake? They happen. So sorry that you and your friends were part of the mistake. From what I see it is a forgivable offence.
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:03 PM
 
48 posts, read 542,394 times
Reputation: 69
I just want to point out a few things because I'm not sure anyone really understands where I'm coming from. Then, if you all still think I should let this go, that's what I will do. Thank you for the responses.


1) This doctor usually spends 30 min per patient unless there is a problem. If there is a problem, he allows another 10-20 minutes. My friend and her husband have other health problems and they were not fully addressed because they were rushed out.

2) If my friend had gotten the day and time mixed up, then they would still be scheduled for an appointment in the computer. Their name would be in there somewhere and it isn't. That indicates that the receptionist (or the computer) messed up, not my friend.

3) I don't give a crap about an apology. What I do care about is how this doctor now views me. He said something specifically to me that indicated that he thought we had just walked in for an appointment rather than schedule one. I feel that this makes me look bad to him, especially since he is considering hiring me. So all I want is for him to know that we scheduled an appointment and it somehow got messed up.
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