Doctor’s Office Waiting Annoyance

I don’t know how many people have this gripe, but last week, it really hit home for me.

I went to my primary care doctor for a visit and I arrived on time. As a mater of fact I arrived early.

I sat and waited and waited and waited patiently (no pun intended) for over an hour before I even went to the next phase of waiting for the doctor’s office in the examining room. Before I got to the doctor it was at least an hour and 20 minutes after my scheduled appointment. To me this was unacceptable and I mentioned this to the doctor and his staff. Of course, their answers were terse and barely sensible.

What really got to me was that the office claimed that they were implementing a new computer system and that was the cause of the delays.. but hello.. computers are supposed to make things more efficient not increase delays exponentially.

While I got under my skin was that as soon as I walked into the office.. I had to sign a form that says, that if I have an appointment and don’t show, they can charge me for the visit.. So that means, unless I have a valid reason for not showing up to wait.. I can be charge for the anticipated wait and missed visit..

Now if that is the case shouldn’t I put together a form and have them sign off on it that for every minute beyond 15 minutes (I think that is reasonable), I start billing them at my work rate? Somehow I don’t think that will fly…

The funny thing is what happened above seems to be the norm in most of the doctor’s offices these days.. Delays without apology or an attempt to give concerted effort to stay to schedule. Don’t these doctors offices know that just as their time is valuable so is the patients? Many of us, like me come during lunch hour for our appointments.

How difficult can it be to call a patient and forewarn them that the doctor is running late and they should anticipate an extended  wait time or reschedule.. Nah.. that’s almost too logical and patient centric.. I guess the “patient bill of rights” doesn’t apply here.

A few days ago.. I had to go to a local hospital for some tests.. and believe it or not.. there was a sign posted that “if you are waiting for more than 20 minutes, please speak to the desk”. At least that’s somewhat patient centric.

I’ve heard that some people have been sending bills TO The doctors for the delays, with some level of success.. what do you think?

What’s the longest you have waited in a doctor’s office? for me the hour and 20 minutes continues to be the number to beat.