Make The Most of Your Visit To The Doctor
Visiting the Doctor shouldn't be anxiety filled.
How do you feel?
When you go to the doctor, do you feel like your doctor is concerned or do you fee like a number?
Frustrations from patients
Some of the most common frustrations that I hear from patients is the fact that they feel like they are just a number. Being whisked in and out of the office like, they are just a number and not a real person.
It is not that a doctor's office wants you to feel this way, contrary to what you might think. There are things that have happened with healthcare "reform" that have been passed down from the government that effects what doctors can and can not do. There is a term called meaningful use. This created a whole new routine for the work flow. For instance, Medicare patients!
Each year the copay for the elderly continues to go up and yet they still bring in the same amount of money per year. Also, Medicare reimbursement for the doctors has been reduced. Reimbursement continues to go down each year. I truly believe that if people would only go to the doctor when they truly need it, or as scheduled by the doctor. Insurance costs would be a lot lower. (I'm not saying that you can't go to the doctor, in an emergency situation or if you are sick). It seems to stand to reason that, if there were less doctor visits then, the insurance would be cheaper.
Doctors are faced with how to operate each year for less money but, to break even or make money, you have to see more patients in the same amount of time. The trick is to find more than productive nurses or medical assistants that can do an incredible amount of work, do it accurately, come in early, stay late and be flexible. As a physician, If you can find that special person, you are lucky.
I said all that to say, this cuts in to the number of employees that a doctor may have and this will of course effect the amount of things that one person can do. This will result in increased wait times at the doctors office and it will also increase the time that it takes to get returned phone calls. Please have patience. The assistants in today's world don't know if they are coming or going. Let's face it, physicians themselves have to be busier than they used to, to make the same amount of money. So, it has a trickle down effect. Assistants are paid well if you can show that you can multi-task and keep it together and be flexible. You have to know all aspects of the job and the more you can learn will make you more valuable to the company.
This causes longer wait times for patients in the office. Also if there are any patients that need x-rays or lab work and you have to wait on the results, this takes several minutes to be done in the office. You also have to take into consideration the ones in front of you who are having x-rays as well. I personally think that if the government continues with the way they are, that wait times will increase.
Ask The Doctor During The Visit!
Actions to Take
There are some things that you can do to be proactive in your own care. Don't expect someone else to just take care of your medical needs for you.
If you are going to be visiting the doctor's office for test results, make sure that there is nothing that you need to bring back to the office. Don't just assume that everything will be taken care of for you.
For example, what happens at our office is, that we have patients that come to see our doctors from outside the city, sometimes even outside the state. Some of them have MRI's or CT's that our doctor's need to be able to look at. It is difficult for us to get patients to understand how we can't just view their images from all over the state and even sometimes even out of state. The same thing would apply to PET scan results, lab work, mammograms, etc. The doctor needs to have the proper results in hand. This will save you from having to wait, if the doctor has everything that he or she needs, right in front of them.
Types of Doctors
The Electronic Age
I never thought that I would say this but, thank goodness for the electronic age. A lot of us lead very busy lives and we just forget things that are out of our normal routine. I think that going to the doctor is one of those activities. We look at it like, how are we going to fit this into our day? If you are in pain, you just want to get better with little effort, on your part. That is the job of the doctor to make me better. True and not true. The doctor goes to school to have the knowledge to tell you what to do. There may be something on your part that you need to do as far as put forth some effort, maybe to do some exercises. For example, the doctor can tell you what to do but, can't do them for you. They can also tell you that your cholesterol is high but, they can't make you eat better.
Knowing the frustration of patients today and being able to explain it from being a patient as well as working for a very busy doctors office, with multiple doctors, hopefully I can help explain what a routine day for our office is. In fact, just the other day on of the ladies at the front desk mentioned that sometimes they will have 220 people throughout the day. We do have a multi-doctor practice.
Technology has come a long ways and we are able to log on to several different imaging places in our city. Beyond that, the patient would be required to bring their report along with a disk of the images on CD. Hearing the patient do their MRI in the city will save time for the patient who has forgotten what we have told them, (as far as bringing images in), and can print the report ourselves and our doctor can even look at the images from the same facilities.
How To Make The Most of Doctor's Appointment
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Making The Most of Your Doctor's Office Visit
© 2014 Buster Johnson