Sunday, October 9, 2011

Phone Solicitors

One of the hardest things about being on call, is all of the phone calls. Our answering service does a great job telling patients that we can not diagnose over the phone or call in prescriptions after hours. It also tells patients that if it is an emergency they are to go to the nearest ER. Lastly it tells then that we are on call only for acute post-operative problems. So, what happens? They lie to the service and we get called. Many are drug seekers, many hope to call when the office is closed so they wont have to come in.

Here are some of the latest. A patient called stating that he had surgery and one of the doctors was supposed to call in an antibiotic and that he had just called the pharmacy twice and it had not been called in. I asked what kind of surgery he had and it wasn't the kind that doctor even did. I then asked for the pharmacy number and he said he didn't know it and would have to look it up. When I reminded him that he said "he just called it twice" he hung up.

Another person called and said that they had surgery two years ago and now they were having a bad headache, could we call in some percocet?

Three were calls from people who thought they were getting a cold, could we call in an antibiotic. (two of these were after midnight!)

I had two calls last night from people who wanted to set up an appointment at some time during the month.

I know I have talked about this before, but I just had to vent.

1 comment:

SeaSpray said...

I'm sorry that happens to you and I am guessing other docs too.

You were the one that pointed out a ways back that if anyone calls your service but doesn't request a call back that by law you have to follow up and check out the call. I think I am recalling that correctly. And I told you that I thought I was being efficient if I called the day before they opened or early morning to leave a message on the health line so they would get it first thing. I thought it was a good thing, but I stopped that thanks to your post. :)

Other than that ..I just cannot imagine ever bothering a doctor for those kinds of things ..never mind LIE to him.

I can understand genuine pain and you'd expect that or even if stupid ..but they were genuinely scared about something. Sucks for the doc ..but I do understand if they were afraid.

But the stuff you describe ...too bad you can't do it back to them. :)