Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Patience is Being Tested

I'm usually a pretty patient person. When dealing with customer service reps or front line office staff, I try to be as kind and understanding as possible. But after going to more doctor appointments than I can count in the last 18 months, my patience is quickly running thin. I've had my fill of doctor's that don't run an efficient office and an incompetent insurance company this week.

Tuesday we took Emily to an eye specialist due to a blocked tear duct. She had the first appointment of the day, 7:30 am. We arrived at 7:20 am, had all of our paper work filled out by 7:30. We didn't see the doctor until about 9:00 am.

Why? Problems with insurance, waiting in waiting room #1, waiting in exam room #1, waiting in waiting room #2, and waiting in exam room #2. We maybe spent 5 minutes with the nurse (exam #1) and 4 minutes with the doctor (exam #2).

Yep, we were there for about 100 minutes. Less than 10 of those minutes were productive. The doctor was nice enough, he was good with Emily, explained things and gave us our options. But really, did he have to waste 90 minutes of our time?

My OB was never on time. It didn't matter what time my appointment was, 8am or 4:00pm, I knew I'd be there for at least 90 minutes (for a 5 minute exam). I was a little more forgiving with her for several reasons: I like her, she's always given excellent care, and I know that she can get called away to deliver a baby at any moment. But it's still annoying and wasting my time.

It seems that specialists are the worst. My primary care doctor is wonderful about being on time. I've never waited more than 5 minutes to see him. Emily's pediatrician is great. I feel like we still get excellent care and I don't walk out of their offices annoyed with the whole experience. Why can't these other doctor's figure it out?

And then top it off with an incompetent insurance company. That's another story, for another day.

Don't even get Brad started on all of this. Maybe, if we are all lucky enough, he'll rant about it on his blog.

The good news - Emily is fine. She has a partially blocked tear duct. We are going to try some eye drops over the next week (if the insurance mess ever gets figured out) to clear it up. If it doesn't, she will have a little procedure (about 30 seconds) in the doctor's office to clear it up.

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