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What would make your health care experience(s) better?

Posted by @colleenyoung, Fri, Jan 19 4:25pm

When it comes to health and health care, we all want the best care for ourselves and our family. At the same time, each of us is unique and we all have different health needs and aspects, qualities and/or elements of care that we seek. Deciding where to go for care and what we want can be a grueling process that depends on many factors.

The Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation conducted research of Connect community through a survey to learn more about what is important to you in regards to your health and health care experience and choices. Your input helps us improve care and services for patients and their loved ones at Mayo Clinic. If you took part in the survey, thank you for your input and time!

In addition to the survey, let’s talk and share in an open discussion here about what’s important to you, your health, your family’s health and health care choices. To start us off, I’d like you to think back to your most recent or impactful health care experience.

  • What would you like to improve about that experience?
  • What types of resources, information, or assistance could have made that experience better?

REPLY

A few of the questions were a little confusing…
— education with the list, my question is a Graduate of what HS, College, Trade School. I did see the GED equivalent item but it was still confusing to me.
— the question about the primary health care decision maker, I chose myself only because I didn’t see a “joint decision” option for married.
— income question, I think I know why but I always answer none of your beeswax

I liked that it was easy to fill out and didn’t take long. Most of these types of surveys are way too long and people (me) lose interest and hang up or cancel the survey.

Happy Tuesday (got my senior discount at the local grocery store!)

Colleen, Thank you for asking this question!!! I have been to a lot of doctors, clinics, treatment facilities. And I could write a book, but instead I’ll start with a simple beginning.

The first idea I will share:
One thing that sets the tone for my visit happens before I even get to see my provider! It is what happens when I first walk into the office. All too frequently I just hear, ‘Sign your name and have a seat’. I think a smile and an acknowledgement of my presence should be a normal routine in every doctor office.
And, Please, turn down the volume of that annoying TV.

I’ll share more later. In the mean time, I invite somebody else to take on the task to “What would make my health experience better?”

Rosemary

Colleen:

I agree with John on the Education question, it would be helpful if the categories, Undergrad, Grad, Post Grad, have the word “college” included on each. The income question seems a bit invasive as well. The question about “as a woman” was not answered by me because I feel regardless of gender, there should not be any differences in the delivery of health care.

I have also been to many different health care systems and it was hard to answer the questions based on just one review. Perhaps the survey could start out with the intro, “Based on the health care system that you use most frequently….”

I like Rosemary’s comments about “signing in and having a seat” – it tends to be typical in smaller offices, but rather rude. Fortunately it doesn’t happen much where I am seen.

Teresa

@johnbishop

A few of the questions were a little confusing…
— education with the list, my question is a Graduate of what HS, College, Trade School. I did see the GED equivalent item but it was still confusing to me.
— the question about the primary health care decision maker, I chose myself only because I didn’t see a “joint decision” option for married.
— income question, I think I know why but I always answer none of your beeswax

I liked that it was easy to fill out and didn’t take long. Most of these types of surveys are way too long and people (me) lose interest and hang up or cancel the survey.

Happy Tuesday (got my senior discount at the local grocery store!)

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John: Thanks for the reminder – it’s only 5 pm here, so I still have time for my senior discount. Teresa

I only have local doctors from the past to compare to Mayo Clinic Executive care with our primary physician of more than 20 years.

Our patient care began through Aero Space Medicine and Dr Carter who provided mandatory flight physical for NorthWest Airline Pilots.
Their physicals were one day. Their goal was to be perfect physically fit to do their jobs as pilots. I signed up for a Mayo Clinic number and
received second opinions when my local physician felt necessary.
We signed our children up as their medial needs required. Always for a perhaps unique medical concern. I might add that my grandparents
were Mayo Clinic patients. Ironically, my grandfathers life was save from TB in the 50’s. Fast forward to 2008 and my life was saved from
lung cancer.
This is all perhaps TMI but it was not until I was at the Brink of My Life that I had an opportunity to see and appreciate how unbelievably dedicated the physicians and their teams at Mayo Clinic Rochester, truly are.

Mayo Clinic Rochester was established on principals that ring clear today,
at least on the outside. We hope, “The patient comes first” will never change.. and ask if it did, would this be the beginning of the end of the amazing Mayo care? Mayo Clinic runs like the finest maintained machine in the world.

How could a small clinic in small town America compete? How could a small town physician have the time or resources? With only 15 minutes to spend with a patients, medical cost, possible last of the best up to date on going hands on training? And the patients lack of knowledge that Mayo Clinic will allow just about, (I said, just about) any patient to get their second opinion and treatment if they choose.

I can tell you this, every patient I have referred to Mayo Clinic is very happy to be alive because of the proper diagnosis and proper care received my Mayo physicians.

Would a small town community across America have a CONNECTion?
Connect at Mayo Clinic is another amazing machine, where people can come together in an open, supportive, respectful and community?
This community of support gives hope. It is amazing!

I have been labeled the traveling patient. I am alive because I travel to Mayo Clinic, and so is my husband and two of our four children. Let’s hope that during these trying times of medicine and politics and corporate greed this never changes Mayo Clinic. I pray the Doctors are allowed to do what they truly love to do thorough the thick and thin of life, study medicine and support the patient with their presence and time and treatment and knowledge and in turn are supported with research possibilities to they can continue to find the cures that save lives or give people a better quality of life.

A healthy community is a wealthy community, weather we are a patient or care giver or Mayo Team member, would you agree?

Thinking about my last doctors appointment at the local family clinic – test oriented follow up for ESR, CRP, A1C

What would you like to improve about that experience?

I’m not sure. The appointment was fairly routine. Check in at the front desk, take a seat in the waiting area and wait to be called. I normally check in 30 minutes prior to the appointment in case the doctor is running ahead of schedule. I don’t mind waiting unless it’s over 30 minutes past the scheduled appointment. This appointment was pretty much right on time. A friendly face or smile at the check in desk with a “hi, how can I help you?” normally goes a long way to make the appointment enjoyable for me. I can say that is pretty much the way it goes for most appointments for me anyway.

One thing that does tend to aggravate me is having to fill out forms at the check in desk when I’ve already filled out the forms through the patient portal. I can share a bad experience that I observed at the downtown campus (Gonda 5 East if I remember correctly). An elderly lady was given an electronic tablet to fill out the forms needed at the front desk. She struggled with it for 10 minutes or so and finally took it back to the person at the front desk and slammed it on the desk saying she’s done trying to use it – obviously frustrated with technology. The receptionist to her credit was gracious, took the tablet and entered the data for her. I thought what a great area to have a Candy Striper (if they still have those!) to help people who need help using one of the tablets. Or maybe a sign that says if you need help please contact the front desk where someone could take a few minutes to explain how to use it.

What types of resources, information, or assistance could have made that experience better?

This one is really hard to answer (for me anyway). I get a new doctor/intern every two years whether I like it or not. Sometimes it bothers me a little even though I understand it’s a team approach and there is one doctor/supervisor advising when needed. This was the year for the new doc for me and much to my surprise I don’t think I have to train him. This was the second appointment I’ve had with him and was a follow up for my PMR and my tapering off of prednisone. He asked some great questions about pain and inflammation I was telling him about. One being that he asked if I had any tenderness in my scalp or forehead. Then he explained it could be temporal arteritis and ordered labs for inflammatory markers (ESR, CRP) along with the A1C. Thanks to Connect I know what temporal arteritis is ☺. I contrast this with my previous doctor/intern who let me tell her about my neuropathy (numbness, no pain) and prescribed gabapentin which after one month I told her it was not working. She brought in the team supervisor and he asked some questions about the neuropathy and when I said no pain only numbness, he said gabapentin only works for pain. This was a good thing for me because it lead me to being a better advocate for myself and eventually working with the doctor to get an EMG and an appointment with a neurologist for a diagnosis (Idiopathic SFPN). I became more drug aware and when she tried to prescribe simvastatin for lower cholesterol numbers I said no, statins are a major cause of neuropathy…not going there. I told her I would work on my diet which has helped to bring my numbers down but I’m still working on it. It all seems to boil down to patient to new doctor transition but I don’t know if there is an answer other than reading the patients medical record more thoroughly which would not give the doctor that good of a patients overall health (IMHO).

Hope this helps…

John

I am a demanding consumer of healthcare. I would like someone who is both knowledgeable and attentive. I spend a lot of time researching doctors and that includes their demeanor and comments that others make about them online and other places. If a doctor is knowledgeable but had a horrible bedside manner, or is always rushed and inattentive, I will search for someone else. But I am lucky to live in an area where that is possible.

One thing I do is look for videos of the doctor online. You can learn alot about manner just from watching them speak. I also learn alot from other patients. Patient communities focused around any condition or issue are always a great place to start when looking for a new professional.

I completed the survey and, like John, I don’t understand why a couple of these questions are relevant. I suspect there is some hypothesis that higher educated and higher income individuals seek more options, but I believe that has pretty well been proven out over time. It did only take me about 10 min. and one reason is that I have to be so in touch with me care and what is happening in the industry in general.

I was recently at one of my local health care facilities. The attending nurse, did a brief review of my medical history. However, when she came to my current medications, there were a couple of errors. One of these had to do with my current dosage of an antirejection medication. She just shrugged it off, and said that somebody probably hit the wrong button. She did say she fixed it. But acted like it is no big deal.
My fear/concern is when some local/non-trained/non-specialties persons will “trivialize” the importance of accuracy and adherence to our specialty medications.

Another time I was hospitalizes locally and my attending nurse insisted that I ‘could wait’ to take my antirejection medications until after a procedure was planned at some unknown time. My husband requested to speak with the head nurse, who consulted with my local physical…I was given the antirejection medications!
This kind of treatment, when it happens, is very unsettling for me, a transplant recipient.
Rosemary

@rosemarya

I was recently at one of my local health care facilities. The attending nurse, did a brief review of my medical history. However, when she came to my current medications, there were a couple of errors. One of these had to do with my current dosage of an antirejection medication. She just shrugged it off, and said that somebody probably hit the wrong button. She did say she fixed it. But acted like it is no big deal.
My fear/concern is when some local/non-trained/non-specialties persons will “trivialize” the importance of accuracy and adherence to our specialty medications.

Another time I was hospitalizes locally and my attending nurse insisted that I ‘could wait’ to take my antirejection medications until after a procedure was planned at some unknown time. My husband requested to speak with the head nurse, who consulted with my local physical…I was given the antirejection medications!
This kind of treatment, when it happens, is very unsettling for me, a transplant recipient.
Rosemary

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@rosemarya I agree! At the facility I go to I’m usually seen by an M.A. rather than a R.N. before the doctor comes in and depending on the quality of training, there is often a “ho-hum” attitude about the correctness of info in the chart. I’m also insistent on everything being perfect as well. You just have to advocate for yourself. Teresa

Overall, I’m most grateful for the extensive, courteous care I receive at Mayo. I cannot compare to my past experiences locally with primary care physicians and E.R visits…a total nightmare!!! Everything about Mayo is most pleasant, and even park like grounds, with ponds, and flowers, so beautifully maintained, makes my waiting time more pleasant, and soothing. I did have one on-going billing dispute, that lasted 6 months. That was quite frustrating as I needed to see my oncologist, and couldn’t get billing reps to view they made a HUGE mistake. It was finally resolved, in my favor, WHEW!! All drs, except my last oncologist visit have been willing to consider any complaints outside of their department and refer Drs, and/Or tests if necessary ..never rushed me, and visually show me reports on computer. I greatly appreciate that as well. While I’ll admit, I’m not one to jump into excessive testing, I feel much more secure when my Dr is willing and able to think “out of the box”. Overall…very pleased with Mayo!!

@rosemarya

Colleen, Thank you for asking this question!!! I have been to a lot of doctors, clinics, treatment facilities. And I could write a book, but instead I’ll start with a simple beginning.

The first idea I will share:
One thing that sets the tone for my visit happens before I even get to see my provider! It is what happens when I first walk into the office. All too frequently I just hear, ‘Sign your name and have a seat’. I think a smile and an acknowledgement of my presence should be a normal routine in every doctor office.
And, Please, turn down the volume of that annoying TV.

I’ll share more later. In the mean time, I invite somebody else to take on the task to “What would make my health experience better?”

Rosemary

Jump to this post

Weighing in on the ‘Sign your name and have a seat’– Please don’t tell me AFTER I have stood 3 deep waiting to check in for my appointment to sign your name and wait to be called. If there is only one person working the front desk and check in would run smoother to be called up to the window, then put up a Please sign in here notice.

I agree with the billing issues. We have learned, however, if we pay with a credit card, with the same accounting representative, it is easier to keep the billing issues correct.
We do get frustrated with code issues being incorrect. However that is not always Mayo’s error.

The billing reps are as polite and professional in person as our physicians and health care provider teams. We do request bills to be re issued. It may take time,but we always work it out.

On an final note: We insist on Mayo not write bills off! But go to re-coding with insurance
carrier. We want our bills properly processed and
paid !

@colleenyoung
I just completed the survey this evening. I also just had an unexpected colonoscopy this morning, so that is my experience. I very much trust my physician who performed the procedure where a polyp was removed and hemorrhoids were cauterized. Of course, the prep process is terrible; so bad it makes me never want another colonoscopy even though I will need one in a few more years. It would be great if that process could be improved, but I don’t foresee that happening unless they can do reliable non-invasive colon checks. The thing that definitely needed improvement today was the timing. I was scheduled for a 10:00 am procedure, with my arrival at the surgery center scheduled for 9:00 am. I actually arrived early at 8:35 am. My husband and I sat there waiting as every other person who arrived after us was called for their outpatient surgery. At 9:30, I asked at the desk if they had forgotten me. The assistant said the doctor had been delayed 30-45 minutes. I actually was taken to the bay to get prepared for the surgery at 11:00. Everything was fine after that.

However, my husband and I had been sitting in the lobby in very uncomfortable chairs 21/2 hours. I was really suffering after the night in prep and not sleeping well. It was a situation that could have been treated differently. I know doctors sometimes have emergencies that they must attend to. In that case, the surgery center should have informed me that there would be a 45 minute delay in my procedure. My husband and I could have found a more comfortable place to wait, even our car, where I could have reclined as we waited. I am going to give my feedback to the surgery center.

@llwortman

I agree with the billing issues. We have learned, however, if we pay with a credit card, with the same accounting representative, it is easier to keep the billing issues correct.
We do get frustrated with code issues being incorrect. However that is not always Mayo’s error.

The billing reps are as polite and professional in person as our physicians and health care provider teams. We do request bills to be re issued. It may take time,but we always work it out.

On an final note: We insist on Mayo not write bills off! But go to re-coding with insurance
carrier. We want our bills properly processed and
paid !

Jump to this post

Yes, turned out my oncology nurse was taken out of my network, so my ins wasn’t covering her. Billing recognized this, from the get go, as I went into office in person…but frustratingly, they never corrected the problem. Then they insisted it was MY medical coverage that errored. Extremely frustrating 6 mos…but they finally acknowledged it. Not sure who I’ll see next time, and I’m reviewing another oncologist dr as well.

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