One of Many Reasons I Hate The Cleveland Clinic

So today at lunch I had to do what I most hate - try to get a hold of my doctor's office and request a prescription refill. It sounds so simple, doesn't it? In the old days, you'd pick up the phone, call the office, talk with a secretary or nurse. They would then call you back, refill the prescription and you're done. If it took you more than 5 minutes it was a rarity.

But now the trend is automation, voice mail, hold buttons and transfers. I now have to call the main Clinic line; waiting on hold until the one operator is available to take my call. I then say the doctor's name, and that I need a prescription refilled. They transfer me; I'm put on hold again. After a few minutes someone answers. I indicate my name, that I need a refill, and I'm transferred again. And once again I'm on hold.

Then, something new happened today. While I was waiting on hold for the third time, I find myself in an automated prescription refill "center". I'm told my a pre-recorded voice that I will be asked 11 questions, which I am to answer. After I'm done with each answer I am to press the # key.

So I answer the first five questions. Fine, no big deal. Then I get to a prompt that says if I need the prescription mailed, to leave my mailing address. I don't need it mailed, so I don't say anything and hit the # key. I'm then told that there was nothing recorded...and then I'm booted from the system with a "goodbye."

I then start the process all over again, except this time the fourth person I talk to is willing to take down my information on the refill. The total conversation time that took - less than 1 minute. The total time it took me to refill one prescription - 24 minutes.

And this doesn't include the hassle I go through to get the prescription. Usually they write it a day or two later, typically after the point where I'm completely out. It then shows up on my electronic medical record that it's been sent to the pharmacy. Except when I check my pharmacy account online, it's no where to be seen. That's because it takes them an extra day or two to call it in once it's been written.

I've said it once, and I'll say it again - "The" Cleveland Clinic is a joke. Unless you're a celebrity who will get them press, you're just another cow in the pasture.

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