How to get doctors, visiting nurses and facilities to work together to not have so many appointments? I fear I am going to lose my job!

Asked by

I am having to take so much time off of work because the Doctor makes me bring my Mother in to the office for something as simple as a blood test result...she also has a visiting nurse come in but some facilities choose not to "work" with them which requires separate appointments...I am at the least having to take her to an appointment 2 to 3 times a week....can you point me in the direction where I can get assistance in getting these place to work together?...

Answers 1 to 10 of 35
If mom is in an ALF, they can do the blood draw. Facilities have their own nurses, you should not need a visiting nurse. They also do transport; you can meet her at the office. Maximize the services you are paying for without adding in others.
Thank you...She lives at home...the visiting nurse comes to the house twice a week and in today's visit the nurse checked her coumadin level and apparently the coumadin clinic does not work with the visiting she has to go in to the clinic to have same test performed later this week...that is the frustration......seems like every test that is done she has to go in to the Office for the results...I myself have lupus and related issues and don't require this many visits...totally baffled!
Top Answer
One thing you can do is assert yourself a little more. When they call with an appointment for Thursday at 1:15 tell them "no, that won't work, I am only available xxx". Decide what your healthcare goals are and whether or not all these appointments are really needed, there is no point going in for a colonoscopy for example if you would never consider doing chemo or surgery to treat it. Have your mother fill out the forms necessary (HIPPA) so that you have the authority to liaise directly with the doctors without your mom being there, and make it clear that you won't be attending frivolous appointments.
The visiting nurse we had would call the primary MD. He was the one who would order any additional tests, or order the nurse to give vitamin K if there was a danger of hemorrhage. Can you arrange that?
Thank you...that is where I am at after today...My Mother is in complete agreement with this as well...she moved back to MI from Alabama in October and as of this week she has been to appointments in upwards of 30 times...I have told them specific days and times but still feel they are having her come in for stuff that could be told over the it right to tell them that the visits are excessive?
It may be time to switch to a healthcare group that doesn't require so much from a caregiver. It sounds like you are working for their convenience. Some doctors are like that. Having to go to the doctor that often seems unnecessary to me. My mother's clinic puts her lab results on the computer, so we can check in to see them. Her doctor will also send messages or call, instead of requiring her to come in. Saves time and money that way.
You're discovering the same issue I discovered. Our Coumadin Clinic would not accept blood draws from anyone other than those pharmacists on staff who did the draws.

It's understandable; there's a liability issue. The clinic has absolutely no way of verifying that the blood sample is from the patient - nor any way of veryifying the competency or accuracy of the nurse who drew it. So the clinic would be putting itself in the situation of prescribing Coumadin dosages to someone it had not seen or from whom it had not drawn blood. It's a potentially dangerous liability issue.

I also would query why your mother would need to go to the doctor's office when the pharmacists are more than capable of addressing the results, prescribing alternate levels, advising of potential interactions, etc.

Our cardiologist turned the entire practice of blood draw and management over to the Anti-Coagulation Clinic, and they were more than well qualified to handle all issues that arose.

I would raise this at her blood draw this week.

In the past visiting nurses have asked to perform blood draws and I explained to them it's not feasible, and that we would continue with the Anti-Coagulation Clinic. They understood; they were just trying to be helpful.

I once drew the line at no more than 2 medical visits per week; then dropped it to no more than one. Now we don't go for medical visits during harsh winters unless it's an emergency or a follow-up appoint on something really serious, such as vision status. Enough is enough.

Just reading the comments that were posted while I was writing, you really do have to put your foot down and decrease the number of medical appointments or you'll both be ready for hospitalization just for R & R! Stand your ground, be firm. Doctors don't coordinate appointments with each other and have no way of knowing that they're overburdening you.

You can also ask at each appointment what would be required to happen that you need to return - i.e., it's a delicate way of asking what's REALLY necessary, not what they want.

I wouldn't refuse follow-up visits, but there are obviously too many of them taking place.

You might also try to select doctors that all have privileges at the same hospital. Check Mt. Pleasant and Midland, even though neither are quite close. In our area, hospitals and doctors are connected electronically so they can all access a patient's records through the hospital network. It greatly enhances communication.
She never came across this issue while in Alabama...everyone worked together...I agree with the serious appointments being necessary but I thought that perhaps because she is new to them may have been the issue at first but now it feels excessive...she went to a Heart Failure Specialist just last week and they found everything to be fine!...she has an appointment this Saturday with her Primary Doctor so this will be the time to set some new rules....thank you so much for the input!...:)

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support