Whether you have health insurance coverage, or you pay for medical services out of pocket, everyone is entitled to receive quality care from their chosen medical provider. Surprisingly however, many patients end up switching doctors because they’re dissatisfied with the type of care they receive.
According to Solution Reach, a service provider supplying cloud based solutions for the healthcare industry, most medical practices lose about half of their patient base over a five year period. Below is a better look at why.
1. Unprofessional Support Staff – The support staff is a direct connection between you and the staff. From scheduling appointments to making sure that you’ve completed the necessary paperwork required, the support staff is supposed to be there to accommodate your needs. So when you encounter a rude or unprofessional representative, it can make you feel uneasy. Failure to relay your messages to the doctor, leaving you on long holds before answering your questions, or even getting ignored when you come to the front desk with a question can all be deemed as rude and unprofessional.
2. Lack of Respect for Time – There’s no doubt that sometimes you’ll have to wait a while before you can be seen by the doctor – especially if you don’t have an appointment. However, many patients become disgruntled when they’re waiting hours on in to see their doctor. Some patients sit for several minutes in the waiting room, only to be called back into the doctor’s office to sit another hour before they’re ever seen. While it is understandable that your doctors are busy, waiting extreme amounts of time before being cared for is overwhelming. In fact, it almost defeats the point of an appointment.
3. Feeling Rushed or Unheard – Another pet peeve for many patients is the feeling of being rushed or unheard by their doctor. After waiting long periods of time to be seen by their doctor, their visit is literally a few minutes at best. The doctor seems to be doing twelve things at once and barely has the time to listen to your concerns.
4. Condescending – Does your doctor make you feel crazy when you’re describing certain symptoms, or even talk down to you when giving out medical advice? If so, you may want to consider switching doctors. You should not be berated, talked down to, or made to feel crazy when it comes to your health.
5. Comprehension – When you get test results back or are discussing your health do you understand what your doctor is talking about? Many patients feel that their doctors could do a better job in talking in a language they can understand. Having to depict medical terminology is no fun and often leaves you clueless about the true condition of your health. Doctors should explain information in a way that you can comprehend and should also take the time to answer any questions you may have in return. Effective communication is necessary to ensure that doctors and patients can develop a closer relationship for the overall improvement of health.
6. Availability – It’s quite obvious that you are not your doctor’s only patient, and as such, you may not always be able to get a hold of them when you’d like. However, many times patients are disappointed with how long it takes a doctor to get back to them. Whether they’re calling in to find out about test results, or they simply have a question or concern about their health, doctors should make an effort to return the patient’s call within a few business days. No patient should ever have to nag or continually track down their doctor for assistance.
7. Lack of Coordination with Other Doctors – Your primary care physician should act as the foundation for your healthcare. When they give recommendations for you to see various medical professionals or specialists, they should take the time to coordinate with those doctors to obtain necessary information. If a doctor is clueless on recommendations, reports, or test results that you received from another healthcare professional, pertinent information could be left out resulting in the downfall of your health. Always check for alternative sources of health news.
If any of the above seven circumstances has occurred between you and your primary care physician, it may be worth looking into switching providers. As stated before, the relationship you have with your doctor is vital to your overall health. Working with a doctor that is unprofessional, condescending, or never available makes improving or maintaining your health challenging.
If you do believe that finding a new healthcare provider is best for you, it might be beneficial to consult with your health insurance provider to see which medical professionals accept your coverage. From there, you can schedule a visit/consultation to see which healthcare professional is best suited to meet your medical needs.