Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I'm BACK, & I'm a bitchin'...

What "they" Cullman Primary Care sent me on 03-04-08 with my name "filled" in the blanks:

Dear:_____You were scheduled for an appointment on___ with_____which you did not keep. We want to be sure you are all right, and of course, we would - like to complete you examinationltreatment as soon as possible. It is very important for you to notifr our office if you are unable to keep your appointment; This time can be used for another patient who is need of medical care. Will you please call our office today? The telephone number is734-3202.
Sincerely,Culinian Primary Care. P.C.
Date: ___________

What I sent back on 3/5/08 on the reverse side of their letter:

To Whom It May Concern:

While I appreciate your “concern” for my health and well being, I am not at all pleased with the reprimand that I received from your office yesterday.

If you had a better plan in place that would allow you to more adequately attend to your phones, you would have seen that I DID call to cancel my appointment. I am certain that this is not the first complaint that you have received over this problem in your office as it has been an ongoing problem for years, but just to be sure that you properly understand the situation I found myself in, let me explain.

On Thursday February the 29th 2008 at 8:00am I made a phone call to the office to see if I could schedule an appointment with my regular physician, Dr. Elliott. I do not call my Dr’s office on a regular basis and never for anything other than a real illness. I was suffering, as so many others out there are right now, from the flu. I had already visited my Dr. two weeks earlier and was still sick. I had put it off as long as I could, but finally decided that I needed medical attention. I called but held for at least 10 min. so I headed out to CPC Urgent Care. On my way there, I decided that I would give one more effort to call the office and get an appointment so that Urgent Care could have the spot for other people. After being on hold, as usual, for another 8-10 min, I finally spoke with someone who was, thankfully, able to give me an appointment for 2:40pm that afternoon with Dr. Elliott. By that time I had arrived at Urgent Care, and was feeling so badly that I went on in to see if they were way behind. Not only was I feeling dreadful, but I knew that the sooner I could get some medications, the better off I’d be, and I also knew from prior experience that if I waited until my 2:40 appt, I’d be lucky to even get back to see the Dr. before 4:00 and by that time, there was no telling how I’d be feeling. So I signed in, gave them my cell phone # (what a great idea) and went out to my car to wait. After being seen by Dr. Saltz, I left urgent care to get my prescriptions filled and to go home to recuperate from what was tested as being the full blown flu.

I’m not sure exactly what time that morning I called back to your office to cancel my appointment, but it was before noon and I lay in bed and held for at least 15 or 20 minutes, listening to the message over and over and being told to press this ext. and that ext. for different reasons. Finally, after getting no answer so that I COULD cancel my appointment and “leave it open for some other patient” I pushed either ext. 103 or 105 and left a message that went something like this: Hi, this is Elena Caudle birth date 11/3/69 and I have an appointment with Dr. Elliott at 2:40pm today. I realize that this extension is not specifically for cancelling appointments, but I’m horribly ill and can’t hold my head up to continue holding for someone to answer the other line. I figure that whomever this extension belongs to will listen to the messages and I would very much appreciate it if you would pass this message along. I need to cancel my appointment, I have been to Urgent Care and I don’t want to keep another sick person from being able to see Dr. Elliott. Thank you and good bye.

Evidently the lines of communication within the office are not much better than the lines between the office and the public.

I am sorry that you did not get my request to cancel my appointment. It WAS made and was made in a timely manner. I also understand that people are not very considerate of our Dr’s time sometimes, but I think that consideration of people’s time needs to go both ways.

Sincerely, ME

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