Health care in America is a big topic of conversation and rightfully so. Everyone is trying to figure out why the prices keep going up. Maybe I can shed a little light on that subject and how frustrating it is to people like me.
Several years ago I had a Carotid endarterectomy due to blockages in my carotid arteries. Now once a year I have to do a followup to ensure there are no blockages. Let me give you a run down of the people I encountered to complete this task.
- Technician who took the ultrasound
- Receptionist who checked me in a doctor’s office. The receptionist asked me to fill out a form listing any changes to my medications since last year. The form said to take it with me. At 10:15 I asked how much longer I had to wait as I had another appointment at 11AM. Oh, you didn’t return the questionnaire. No, because it said to take it with me. Well, you were supposed to give it to me, she said. I handed it over and was soon called to the inner sanctum.
- Person who took my blood pressure. She asked if any of my medications had changed in the past year. Yes, as indicated on the paper you have in your hand I replied as sweetly as I could possibly say. When was your carotid endarterectomy she asked as she started typing on her laptop. I don’t remember I replied. You should have that information in your computer. We spent two and one half hours last year updating your records, I said, as I reached for my smart phone with all my medical records. She found the information said all was well and the Physician’s Assistant would be in to see me shortly.
- The PA came in all bright and cherry and asked how I was doing. Fine I said. Everything is fine. She did her normal body scan of me, gave me my numbers, and that was that. Was there anything I wanted to talk about. No thank you I said, I have another appointment at 11AM. Everything is fine. Yes, I see my primary care physician regularly. Everything is fine thank you. Fine, we will reschedule you for another ultrasound in a year. Should we mail you the date? No, I’ll just get it now while I am here.
- Booking assistant. She can’t make the appointment for 15 or 20 minutes because she has to wait for the orders to be written. If I am in a hurry, she can mail them to me. I smiled and said thank you. She was only doing her job and she did not deserve to hear what was going on in my mind – You with your fancy computers can’t even book an appointment…..
There is a missing person here that we will call 1a. That is the person who read the ultra sound and sent the results to the doctor. In my humble opinion, we could eliminate the jobs of persons 2 through 5. Person 1a could send the results to my primary care physician and a great deal of time and money would be saved.
The Right Way
Let me tell you about my Primary Care Physician, Dr. Marney Roemmelt. Her assistant Barbara greets me when I come in and offers me refreshment. I usually refuse because I don’t wait a long time for the doctor to see me. They respect their patient’s time.
The doctor herself welcomes me to the inner sanctum. She reviews the results from any tests that may be outstanding. We talk about what is happening and how I am feeling. We discuss my health. She types out my health plan.
When I leave her office, she follows me to the reception area. Barbara hands Dr. Roemmelt my printed health care plan and any lab work or prescriptions I need. Barbara then books my next appointment.
They are two people working in harmony. They provide excellent health care and my blood pressure isn’t sky high when I leave their office.
Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do If If You Try