East Jackson Family Medical Center: Out Patient Clinic Turn Around Time On Review

Today our family scheduled was jam-packed with doctors appointment for Abigail (our daughter) and Joshua (my husband).  We started our day with breakfast and headed to Jackson, being hurried for we didn’t want to be late to our daughter’s nine-months check-up at East Jackson Family Medical Center (EJFMC).

Photo Credit:  East Jackson Family Medical Center

Since Abigail’s appointment was 9:00 A.M, we left home at around 8:33 A.M.  My husband is strict in terms of being on time.  He is an early bird himself.  Whenever we have an appointment, his routine was wake-up early, started the day sipping a brewed coffee,  morning devotion and jumped straight to the shower and dressed himself quickly.  While me was savoring my time…an exact opposite of him (don’t ask anymore).

When we arrived at the parking lot of the clinic, we were two minutes early.  We headed straight to the receptionist and registered our daughter’s name in the patient form.   At this time we were confident that our waiting for her name to be called wouldn’t take long.

We started going at EJFMC the day after she was released from Jackson General Hospital- neonatal department.  Her pediatrician since then was Dr. Davis-Tharpe,  Vernessa L., MD. 

Originally, Abigail’s appointment was scheduled on December 22, 2014 but it wasn’t push through.   For some reason Dr. Davis was not available that day.  We were thankful that before the 22nd of December, a nurse called us (whose name I already forgot) and informed us about the situation.  She also managed to arranged an appointment for our daughter but with other doctor.   I informed Joshua about it.  At first my husband was a bit hesitant with a sudden changed of schedule…after a minutes of weighing things he agreed.  

In the lobby, we were patiently waiting for Abigail’s name to be called.  We actually didn’t noticed at first how much the time had passed we were  entertained by her laughter while playing with us.  We were also engrossed watching the early talk shows that was being played in the television.  We started to became bored and impatient when we noticed that most of the people we saw when we entered the facility were already called including those who came after us.

Because of that, we started comparing the service provided to us before by Dr. Davis.  Most of Abigail’s previous appointment with her pediatrician was done quickly and because of this there was no room for Abigail to be fuzzy.  Since we were used with it,  I didn’t make an effort to bring a pack lunch for Abigail (only her sippy cup and powdered formula).

Joshua and I became uneasy when Abigail started to cry, she was sleepy and at the same time wanting to breastfeed.  When we checked the clock, it says that we were seating at the waiting room for a matter of 45 minutes.

By that time, there were new patients that checked-in and most of the patients that were there when we came were called and some went home.  I asked Joshua to inquire and follow-up the status of Abigail’s schedule.  He talked with the receptionist.  He mentioned that it was unlikely for them to made the patients waited for long mostly a child. The receptionist said to him that the doctor who was scheduled to check-up Abigail was running behind.    I noticed that Joshua was losing his temper in which was not common for him.  Compared with me, my husband was always chill all the time so instead of me being irritated, I quickly pulled myself back to being calmed and reminded him to be kind and be patient.

The receptionist extender her assistance by paging the Nurse Practitioner  (NP) once.  She returned to us and told us that the NP will see Abigail the soonest.  Minutes had past but every time the door that channeled the patients towards the exam room opened, a nurse stood there and were calling different name.  Once again Joshua made a follow-up.     Finally, after a series of follow-up, the nurse called our daughter’s name.

After the nurse took Abigail’s vital statistics and signs, she guided us to the out patient exam room and apologized for the long waiting.  I thank God that she apologized for it really did something great on our part.  It quickly softened our hearts, and cooled us down.

Of course I didn’t let the moment passed without opening up what our concerns:

  • I mentioned that they changed Abigail’s appointment date, and handed Abigail to a different doctor even though her pediatrician was at the clinic that day (we saw Dr. Davis and even greeted us during Abigail’s vital signs check-up procedure).  I myself are pro-changes but in connection of my family’s being and health (let’s talk first).  The reason I mentioned this thing was to let them know how important for us, parents valuing the health of our child.   I didn’t say this because I was being grapevine but I was straight forward to the things that needs care and paying careful consideration.  Most of the parents are eying for a good quality of service being provided by the doctors, pediatrician or primary care to their child and that is true.  With me and my husband,  one thing that we are paying attention is the involvement of the medical provider.   I believe in my heart that there are some medical provider out there that have a good principles in giving their service to others and not just business usual.   Quoting what Dr. Katheryn Sarantos says, “We
    get involved in their families, their parents, and their lifestyle. As
    we minister to the kids about healthy eating habits, we know that we’re
    ministering to their parents also. So that becomes our focus, the family
    as a whole.”  
  • Though we didn’t elaborate anymore the length of time we waited, our last visit experience in terms of promptness doesn’t receive A’s.  The truth was the patients waiting time exceeded beyond what was commonly given to us.  From the time we checks-in to the time we check-out, we actually waited approximately 2 hours.  An approximate of one hour and 45 minutes at the lobby and almost 15 minutes at the patient exam room.   Most of our past experiences of clinic visit at East Jackson Family Medical Center,  the total duration time from check-in to check-out was only less than an hour.

Though at first our experienced was not good,  we left the facility with a smiles in our faces.  The  NP that attended Abigail was a Filipina.  Her last name was Ortega.   She also apologized for the long waiting.  Since I am a Filipina, she easily build a rapport with me.  Joshua was also lightened up when the NP asked him about the Filipino words he knew and can pronounced. With Abigail, though she didn’t cry she showed her discomfort when the NP tried to examined her ears which was unlikely to her when she was seeing her pediatrician.  The NP goes beyond her medical duty when she courteously gave our daughter a biscuit.