There are times I need to talk to a patient that is not in the office. I pull up their profile. The first contact number gets dialed. “I’m sorry, but the person you have called does not have a voice mail that has been set up yet.”
Let’s dial phone number two. “The number you have dialed has been disconnected or is no longer in service.”
This patient has a third number. “Your call has been forwarded to an automated voice message system 555-345-6789 is not available. At the tone, please record your message.”
I have no idea if this is a correct number. I will leave a basic message and hope for the best.
I will not be defeated! The patient has signed up for MyChart (our encrypted email connected to the patient and their chart). Seven days later, “You have a MyChart message that has not been opened or read.”
Even writing this now, I have furrowed my brow, squinted my eyes, and rubbed them with my hand as I think on what to do next.
Is there accurate contact info in their HIPAA form? Do they have a relative on that form that picks up the phone? Am I allowed to call them at work? Or, will I have to wait until they show up at their next appointment?
(20 minutes have elapsed)
One way to receive quality health care is having up to date contact information. This is especially true if you are in the 18-39 age bracket where there isn’t the need to visit the physician every year for routine health maintenance.
Having this information up to date will allow me to save time tracking you do and allow me to spend more time with you when you need it. I don’t like having to rush talking to patients, but there are only so many hours in the day.
If your info is up to date, I’ll be talking to you soon!