Friday, January 28, 2022

Patient Feedback Matters



To Your Health
Scott Lowe
CEO, Physicians Regional-Collier Blvd

Just as the title says, patient feedback matters — and we want to hear from you.

I recently received this letter from a patient who had visited the Emergency Room at Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard. Though we need to hear all your feedback — the positive and the negative — it’s nice when a patient takes the time to say, “Job well done.”

With the patient’s permission, I am sharing the letter today:

Be it genetic or otherwise, my entire family is gastro-intestinally challenged. So, it was not that big of a surprise when (once again) I started to experience some unpleasant upper-GI issues. However, as these symptoms seemed to get exponentially worse over a two-week period, I finally accepted something had to be done.

I also confess that, medically speaking, I tend to wait until the last minute for everything. Of course, this is not a good plan for any patient. Had I simply visited Dr. Portu or Dr. Becker (my Primary Care Physicians) earlier in the week, the entire ER ordeal could have been avoided.

I haven’t actually been to an ER in quite some time — my children weren’t “bone breakers,” thank goodness. It’s also likely that I watch far too many medical shows on TV because my visit did not match my pop-culture-driven expectations.

Of course, who among us has not suffered through an unnecessarily long wait in an Emergency Room at some point? I would even suggest that some try to avoid the ER altogether out of fear of “waiting.” Well, this was certainly not the case at Physicians Regional. Due to the potentially life-threatening nature of my complaints, I was ushered back immediately.

What’s more, unlike TV, there was no panic, no loud medical alarms sounding overhead, no ambulances squealing into the drive, no unnecessary scurrying about. In fact, I would describe my entire visit using two words: “calm” and “focused.” As my symptoms were basically mirroring those of a heart attack, “focused calm” was exactly what I needed.

Everyone I came into contact with was simply extraordinary. What’s more, the ER physician got in touch with Dr. Portu immediately. It was so comforting to know that my regular doctor was “there” without actually being there.

Of course, thanks to modern technology, my medical history was at their fingertips. Yes, the staff questioned me — as they should — but frankly, I trusted the medical records more than I trusted my memory at that point.

Plus, absolutely no one asked me for anything related to payment until it was determined that I was, in fact, stable. I understand that service providers deserve to be paid, but the fact that my health was deemed more important than my credit card information was HUGE in my book.

Though I don’t recommend a trip to the ER for the purpose of medical testing, what a relief that all the tests I needed were immediately done on-site. Within two hours, I was appropriately tested, diagnosed, medicated and released. Literally, just one day later, it’s like the episode didn’t happen at all.

It is so comforting to know that Physicians Regional — and such amazing medical care — is located practically down the street from where I live. Not that I wish for another ER visit anytime soon, but I will gladly return for more “focused calm” care should the need arise. My sincere thanks to all of you.

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