November 29th, 2009
One of my favorite bloggers, Havi Brooks (no relation, has come up with this idea called the DAMNIT list. My cursory definition of this is that these are things that she either really wants in her business or things that she is unwilling to put up with any longer.
I have been thinking about this idea with respect to my own business as well as being a patient and caregiver.I thought it may be fun to create my own PATIENT POWER MANIFESTO and if you’d like to join me – please feel free to do so in the comments.
So, drum roll please. . . . without further ado – here’s Char’s PATIENT POWER MANIFESTO:
- I won’t deal with providers who will not consult with each other regarding my care after I ask them to.
- I won’t sit in doctor’s office waiting rooms being at the mercy of their magazines, tv’s blaring, etc. I will bring something I really want to read, do or accomplish (i.e. bills, correspondence or a great book) and wear earplugs.
- I won’t deal with nurses that aren’t listening to what I’m saying when I’m explaining what’s going on initially. I will ask them to repeat back their understanding of what I’ve said to make sure they’ve got it right, politely and directly. If they’re unwilling to do so, I’ll ask to speak with another nurse as a last resort. I won’t set out to piss them off – I recognize they are busy. And, I will help them focus by speaking clearly and concisely.
- I won’t tolerate offices who are “too busy” to find my chart before we begin our appointment. I’ll insist they have the most current chart, wait for them to find it if they don’t have it, and assure them that I am in no hurry. If they still refuse to look for the chart, I’ll find another provider.
- I will phrase my questions thoughtfully and efficiently and will not deal with providers who are so rushed that they won’t answer my questions.
- I will not deal with providers who refuse to look at my Appointment Summary Sheet and approve or correct it.
- I will take the time to prepare my Appointment Preparation Sheet before my appointment and bring two copies – one for me and one for my provider.
- I will remember to llook at this Appointment Preparation Sheet and make notes on it as the provider talks while of course allowing them to do the appropriate examination.
- I will not leave an appointment without being sure all of my questions are completely answered. If more issues come up than can be answered in the one appointment, I will make a second appointment before leaving the office.
- I will pay my office call copay at the time of the visit so that I don’t have to think about it again.
- I will pay all medical bills in the year that they are incurred which makes my taxes easier and my life less messy.
- If I receive explanation of benefits forms and have questions on them, I will look at my calendar and schedule in time to contact the insurance company within the next two weeks. It never works for me to leave these things hanging – I forget them and continue to get notices and before you know it, it’s one big pile of paperwork which makes me want to run and hide rather than resolve it understanding whether I need to pursue it further or just cough up the money.
- If I can’t get anywhere with the first insurance representative, I will record her name and my understanding of what was said on a post it, attach it to the explanation of benefit form and ask for a supervisor. I’ll continue making notes and talking to the next person in command until I’m satisfied that I understand their perspective. While I’m doing this and being put on hold, I’ll have an organizational project to take care of (i.e. filing in my office) so that I don’t get frustrated being on hold.
Wanna play? Feel free to share your PATIENT POWER MANIFESTO here!! Have fun.
Since I’m practicing being specific about what I’m asking for, here’s what I’d like you to do if you’d like to leave feedback.
- Make your PATIENT POWER MANIFESTO about you: Whatever you want or don’t want in your life as a patient or caregiver, claim it.
- You are welcome to borrow any of my strategies that work for you. Please don’t criticize them though – they work for me – and that’s what’s most important. In other words, define what works for YOU and don’t bother trying to define what works for em.
- Having said that, if you have questions about why I feel the way I do, by all means – let me know and I’ll do my best to share where I’m coming from.
- Please feel free to borrow from other’s PATIENT POWER MANIFESTO’S – but no criticism allowed.
- Part of the fun of this is finding the unusual ironic situations that often piss us off – but when you look at it in a different light – they can actually be kinda funny. Laughter and poking fun at things is encourged. Cynicism and arrogance are not.