Recently, I read an article touching on how the doctor/patient experience has become an afterthought. Much like society today, many medical practices have shifted their focus to providing the latest gadgets and hi-tech items in an attempt to seem like the most profitable office in town. While patients find these aspects thrilling, does the actual human interaction they encounter merit the same impressiveness?
While we all appreciate the intricate bell and whistle every once in a while, does placing too much focus on the aesthetic pleasure of an office retract from the plain and simple handshake and “hello”? With several moves from town to town under my belt, I have been to my fair share of “new patient” visits. Unfortunately for any office I visited, I had high expectations based upon my original family physician. The office was always comfortable and quaint, nothing fancy; but the service I received was superb. I was treated like family, given my doctor’s cell phone number and treated to all the smiles one can possibly stand. Upon moving, I was referred the name of a physician in the area and easily scheduled in a timely manner. The sheer size of the office alone was impressive, not to mention a waiting room filled with video game consoles, flat screen televisions and iPads for children to entertain themselves. Honestly, I was blown away and had the mindset I was in for the most impressive doctor’s visit of my life.
After the glamour wore off, I was stuck sitting in the waiting room for shortly over an hour, taken to a patient room where I was forced to sit another 30 minutes without any human contact and seen by a gruff, unfriendly physician. I left the office with no real information and a measly script for what I believed to be a more potent version of Ibuprofen (I was having trouble with allergies?) Needless to say, while the office staff and management believed they had created a technological dreamland, they had merely motivated me to find a new physician with my hometown values and the courtesy to shake my hand.
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