I'm a Patient Woman. However...
Palo Alto Medical Foundation is where I currently go for my medical care. Since the CML diagnosis I have had to work with the situation as best I can. I have lots of experience being a patient. More than most, I would say. So, I believe I have developed a tolerant attitude.
There are many challenges I have been facing that I find discouraging, confusing and annoying, which I hope to resolve, or just live with. However... sometimes it's the little things that become untenable!
This is the message I sent to the complaint department:
Today I called PAMF in Santa Cruz to report that I had been in the emergency room last night and wanted to know what to do now. It took twenty minutes before anyone answered the phone.
Two weeks ago I was on hold for 45 minutes before someone answered the phone.
FORTY FIVE MINUTES!!!
I CAN DRIVE TO MY DOCTOR'S OFFICE IN HALF THAT TIME!!!
I have been politely told that people cannot answer the phone because of a computer upgrade.
GIVE ME A BREAK!!!
If it is true that having a computer upgrade prevents phone service from working correctly, PAMF has a problem.
A SERIOUS PROBLEM!!!
Not just with the phone, you see. But with the whole patient experience. Do you understand? I know two other PAMF patients who are just as fed up as I am. Oh, I know I can send a message to my doctor through My Health Online. But, there is no guarantee the doctor will read it in a timely manner or at all. One of my doctors said he never checks messages. This is not a useful system if the doctor who is the most important in my medical care team does not get the message.
Still, I sent messages to my primary care and my oncologist. I will wait and see how long it takes to get a reply. But, I don't have a lot of faith in the system. Maybe they will have problems getting online because PAMF is upgrading the computer system! I would prefer to not go doctor shopping while in the middle of my current medical situation... cancer.
I specifically would like to know exactly how many months this "computer upgrade" will continue to affect the quality of my care, so I can make other arrangements if I find the answer unsatisfactory. At least give me that.