I described a good experience making an appointment for a blood test… now on to a moderately annoying experience. This is usually the way doctor’s appointments go for me. I need to make about 6-7 appointments like this per year, so every two months I need to go through this again and again.
This is a specialty department at a large university hospital. It is an outpatient office. Here’s how it went:
- I started by searching the doctor’s name on the internet. I got her old address and phone number on all search results: healthgrades.com, vitals.com, ucomparehealth.com. She moved about a year and a half ago… don’t these guys ever update their databases?
- I did a search on the hospital’s web site. I knew the website, so it was easy to find a telephone number.
- 10:50 AM – called during the business hours, but I still got the message about not calling outside the business hours. I was then asked to leave a message and told I will be called as soon as possible. I left a message. I never got a call back.
- Next day I called at 9:40 AM. A real person answered the phone 🙂 She could not login into the system to make my appointment 😦 . She got my phone number and last name and promised to call me back as soon as the system is up.
- 10:33 AM -I called back, and left my number
- 11:40 AM she called me back and she was mildly irritated that I called again even though she already told me she will call me when she will be able to make the appointment. Her machine was still not working.
- 2:05 PM – she called me back and gave me an appointment in 4 weeks.
Compare this with the 5 minute experience of booking my own appointment with Quest Diagnostics online. I did not have to take the precious time of a nurse or receptionist for a really basic routine appointment. Please, let patients help! This is the kind of operations that you can have the patients do and free up some time for your staff.