I used to be a Clinical Administrator many years ago. I prided myself in practicing business the old fashioned way–hard work and efficiency. I tried to returnÂ every phone call,Â solveÂ every problem expediently, and tried to manage people with love and care. Over all, I was told by most employees that I did a great job and that the office ran like a “SwissÂ clock.”
Now, I have absolutely no control over my medical practice. I see patients as efficiently as possible. I try to meet all their physical, mental, and spiritual needs. But hard as I try, I can’t guarantee how the process works from the time they call for an appointment untilÂ I walk in the exam room door. Â IÂ am virtuallyÂ helpless.
One funny incident occurred some time ago thatÂ now gives me and a dear patient a laugh. She had come to see me because she was suffering from depression. She felt alone in the world. She felt that her life was purposeless, and she felt that no one would miss her if she was gone.
Unfortunately, everything that could go wrong with her visit, did. She had scheduled a 9 am appointment and after spending about three hours in the waiting room and recognizing that everyone else had been seen, she finallyÂ approached the front office staff to ask what was taking so long.
In the mileiu of chaos that permeates most physician offices,Â her chart had beenÂ misplaced and she had been completely forgotten. That’s not usually how you want the appointment to begin when someone already feels alone and purposeless. We had a great laugh actually and she hadn’t felt that good in a long while.