In the Middle of Patient And Referral Source Disagreements
I received a phone call the other day from a patient who wanted a new CPAP machine. His was 10-years-old and knew he needed a new one. I told him to talk to his primary care doctor. The patient called me back and said that his doctor sent him to a pulmonologist who he did not want to see. He asked if my medical director could follow him instead.
I love being helpful to my patients but you run a thin line when you deal with going over a doctor's head. We have to keep our referral sources happy but also need to help our patients. I did make arrangements for this patient because I knew the primary care would not mind. However, there are some doctors that would not have been happy with this patient's choice.
As a technician or a manager or a patient advocate, we sometimes get put in the middle of hard decisions. The one thing that will always be in our favor is that the patient has a choice on who he or she sees. Just like they have a choice of which sleep lab they go to. If we work as a community we can make sure all the patients are well cared for. It is not all about competition; it is about good medical care and patient satisfaction.