Thankfully, Most Businesses Do Not Operate Like Our Healthcare System

I recently had an online doctor appointment for my son with a “world class” health institution (hint: Cleveland is in its name).  The online appointment was convenient and a real time saver.  It went well.  The doctor prescribed a medication and said she would send the prescription to our pharmacy.  From there, the process broke down.

I never received an email nor a follow up message in the appointment app, which was a little concerning.  I called the pharmacy and the pharmacy said no prescription was received.  After searching, I found an 800 number to call on the app.  I called that number and was told that I called a technical support line.  They gave me another number to call.  48 minutes, 4 transfers, and a lot of frustration later, I finally got to someone who said she could help.  As you can imagine, I was quite frustrated by that time.  I explained the situation yet again.  She responded, “I will message the doctor.  Why don’t you wait a few hours and call the pharmacy to see if she sent in the prescription?”  I said, perhaps not in my calmest voice, “Really?  I should just wait.  You didn’t wait to charge my credit card for the appointment and you’ve already filed the insurance claim.  And now I should wait to see if you performed the service you said you would?  How about you call me after you confirm the prescription is being filled?”  I was told, “That is not my responsibility.”  Needless to say, I did not handle that statement in a very professional way.

Our business is far from perfect.  In the competitive world in which we operate, if we do not demonstrate that we care about our customers, we will no longer have customers.  As a result, we would no longer have a business.  Our quasi-competitive healthcare industry continues to disappoint on service.  Either make healthcare a truly competitive industry or have the government completely takeover.  This hybrid model adds significant costs and creates no incentive for service.

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