Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dear Medical Provider

Dear Medical Practice

RantWoman is CRANKY. RantWoman is CRANKY enough to seriously consider sending you a bill for free customer service / tech support / generalized design consulting. Please understand, RantWoman has other things to do besides check out going rates for such services. However, RantWoman suspects that a large percentage of your patients are a LOT less technologically intrepid that RantWoman. If you want your spiffy new electronic systems to provide patient satisfaction, you are going to have to do way better than this round with RantWoman, and Rant Woman does mean it about considering putting dollar signs behind that comment!

RantWoman appreciates that her most recent encounter with your customer service machinery DID result in conversation with a human. RantWoman appreciates the HOPE that after multiple days of attempts to get some prescriptions refilled, the one she most needs MAY finally be at hand.

RantWoman hopes that readers will appreciate how delays in getting a prescription refilled can include worsening of the issues the prescriptions are meant to address, leading both to increased crankiness and other undesirable outcomes!

RantWoman does not appreciate that this morning's "successful" experience took 20 minutes in a hold queue because the option to press * and leave a message to be called back was not working.

RantWoman does not feel like trying the phone again to verify, but RantWoman does not remember the outgoing message mentioning the url for your new online patient portal through NextMD.com

RantWoman does not appreciate multiple previous encounters with your phone system, exhortations to try options on the web, getting locked out of the web option and then having to wait 20 minutes even to reset a password. Nor actually does RantWoman appreciate that once logged in this morning, the new patient portal has no way RantWoman can find to send mail even though the outgoing message on your phone system promises that as an option.

RantWoman is reserving judgment about the screen reader accessibility of the Nextmd.com portal only because the thing she wanted is not there anyway.

RantWoman further does not appreciate that after getting signed in from a desktop machine she also tried to sign in from her Android phone. However some part of the interface was malfunctioning and she could not even move from one field to the next without interacting visually

The longer version:
Last week RantWoman needed to refill a prescription. Actually RantWoman needed to refill several prescriptions, but needed one with particular urgency. RantWoman called her pharmacy. The one prescription she needed most and two others were out of refills, but in the meantime the fourth one RantWoman would need in a few days could be refilled. Pharmacist would fax the doctor. 

RantWoman is not sure whether this occurred on Wednesday or Thursday but RantWoman thinks there was PLENTY of time for the medical practice to handle the refill before the 3-day weekend. RantWoman thinks this but apparently the medical practice does not. RantWoman went to her pharmacy on Saturday. One refill. NOT the one she needed most.

RantWoman had a busy schedule and it took a couple calls to the on-call process. RantWoman finally reached a human who said she would contact the on-call doctor.  RantWoman was invited to call back in 20 minutes if she had not heard from the on-call doctor. RantWoman was getting about on a bus, not charmed by medical matters and bad phone connections. RantWoman did not get a call but did not call back either. The on-call doctor did call, perhaps an hour later, when RantWoman was home and better disposed to medical conversations. The on-call doctor promised to call the pharmacy. RantWoman has no idea what got in the way but that also seems not to have happened!

That was Saturday.

Now it is Tuesday.

Can anyone imagine why RantWoman might be CRANKY?


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