Skip to content Skip to navigation

Ever Dream You Wore Your P.J.s to School?

August 27, 2009
by Stacey Kramer
| Reprints

Well, thank you, Dr. Freud, I have. And while that nightmare is one I most definitely experienced as a kid, the one I lived just the other day was my own personal hell. You see, while it may seem obvious to you seasoned parents, it wasn’t to a greenie like me. What I discovered, as I paced back and forth between the front desk and the waiting room (aka Romper Room), in addition to how fast a migraine can set in, was another facet to the art of scheduling. (Be sure to check out Kate Huvane Gamble’s staffing article, ‘Right on Schedule’ from September.) Guess I never got the memo that unless you absolutely must; you never, ever, ever, ever take your kid to the doctor in August. It’s not only the end of summer and hotter than hell, it’s also ‘back to school’ time, which means the pediatrician’s office morphs into a zoo. I’ve stressed the importance of scheduling systems for patient ease (or, in this case, for parents), but I now have a few requests. Please incorporate not only calendars into these systems, but warnings, i.e., ‘school is around the corner so be sure to schedule your child’s appointment early,’ and include things like, notices of when the doctor is returning from vacation and likely will be swamped, or that the doctor is about to go on maternity leave. When booking an airline ticket on Delta, you can see blackout dates, why not for doctor’s appointments? And what about making things more like booking a hotel on hotels.com, where you can see availability, which would, of course, need to change according to how full the doctor’s schedule is, or even, warnings that there is only one spot left. Zappos can do it for shoes. Why not healthcare?

Topics

Comments

Twitter actually could work for this. You could "follow" your doctor's progress during the day as their administrative staff posted updates on how well the physician was staying in tune with his or her schedule. Since you can set a Twitter account to restrict followers, a doctor would have the ability to only approve requests to follow from patients.

A Tweet might be: "Doctor called to hospital, running 30 minutes late. Please adjust your arrival accordingly."

Thanks very much, that's a great suggestion.

Thanks, Gwen! Yes, that would be a great idea. Of course, the first idea would need to be something about how to manage your time in order to write a book! :-)

Great ideas Stacey! I particularly like the idea of seeing availability first when booking an appt. Like you, I had to learn these parenting lessons the hard way, but as I'm sure you've figured out, those little darlings don't come with a manual. Unless you decide to write one, which really wouldn't be a bad idea. "Everything You Should Know About Parenting But Didn't Know Enough To Ask!"

stacey

Stacey Kramer is Managing Editor of Healthcare Informatics. She writes feature stories and...