We all know that doctors offices are notorious for running late. We know it drives you crazy… and it drives us crazy too. We don’t like it and are constantly brainstorming ways to improve things. Here are the things you can do to help us achieve that goal.
1. Review your medications prior to coming to the appointment.
Feel free to bring the bottles in. At least write down a list at home, and review it to make sure the dose on your bottle is the same on your list. How many tabs, (or puffs) are you taking, and is it once a day or twice a day. Do you need any refills? If so, write them down.
2. Write down all the questions you have.
We don’t want to spend precious minutes while you try to think of them.
3. Let the person rooming you know of all of your concerns.
Don’t wait for the doctor to come in the room to share them. This allows us to (sometimes) get some of the work up done while you are waiting to see the doctor. (For example, if you let the nurse know it is burning when you pee, she will have you collect the urine sample in advance. If you wait and tell me, then we have to break up the visit for you to go to the bathroom, and then come back to the room and that will automatically put us 15 minutes behind schedule).
4. Arrive 15 minutes early.
30 minutes if it is a preventative (yearly) visit. Yes, we need to verify your insurance every visit. Yes, we are required to collect your copay. We have lots of questions we have to ask, either on paper or on a tablet, (like have you been to the ER since your last visit, are you depressed, or are you in pain.) These take time, and if you arrive at your appointment time, or late, we will run late.
5. If you come in for a sick visit:
Please don’t expect us to discuss your chronic health issues, unless it is directly related to sick visit concern. (For example, you have pink eye, but want to know if you really need to come back to discuss your diabetes next week… Yes you do… we are likely squeezing you in for this visit, and don’t have the time on the schedule to address these other things)
So that is the big stuff. We appreciate all the help you can offer to keep us running on time for the people who come in for visits after you. Thank you for being our partners in health care.