It was my rescheduled annual GYN visit with a new doctor. I’d picked this doctor as part of a new group that uses the same Healthcare portal as some of my other doctors. I figured it would be easier to keep track of my health history if it was all in one place.
My initial visit was rescheduled due to an emergency C-section, which happens. For this visit, I was scheduled at 1:40PM but didn’t see the doctor until 4PM. No warning when I checked in that the doctor was 2 hours and 20 minutes behind by 1:40PM that day.
Eric Topol in his recent book, DEEP MEDICINE, says that on average, new patients get 12 minutes with the doctor and 7 minutes on a return visit. We didn’t spend a lot time on my health history as this was an annual visit, and all my information was already in her computer. But we did spend more than 12 minutes on the rest of my questions:
1. How did you get behind by 2 hours and 40 minutes for a 1:40PM appointment?
2. How many patients were you scheduled to see today? (23 patients)
3. How does it make you feel when you get this far behind and have to apologize over and over to a new patient?
4. How come I didn’t get a text from the HealthPortal telling me that you were this far behind? If your Healthportal were Amazon, I would have gotten frequent updates saying that my “package delivery was delayed” with a new anticipated date and time.
5. Of the 480 minutes in a scheduled day (8 hours), with 23 patients, that comes out to 20 minutes per patient. How much of that time do you think you spend on the computer, reviewing records before you see me, and then typing in notes after I’m seen? Is 8 more minutes adequate enough for most new patients?
6. You ordered two tests and the results will be back in 2-3 days. I understand with the holiday, that the second one isn’t back yet, but your Healthportal should have alerted me about when I should receive the 2nd result (like Amazon). I assume that you have to review the tests before they are entered into my Healthcare Portal. How much time is allotted for you to review my test results, authorize they be added to the portal, or make sure someone calls me if the results need to be communicated directly to me?
No wonder doctors can’t stay on schedule with patients asking so many questions!
Blessings, my friend,