Ruth's musings

I have been dealing with breast cancer for a while, and have been sharing my journey with friends, family, and prayer partners. This blog brings all my updates together in one place, and leaves me free to muse on other parts of my life. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Love those telephone surveys

There I was Sunday evening, sitting down to our usual soup and sandwich supper, when the phone rang. It was our HMO, and they had a customer satisfaction survey for me to answer. Okay, so it was some survey firm calling on behalf of my HMO. They wanted to ask about my visit to the clinic on September 8th. I asked the lady to refresh my memory. Oh. That September 8th. The day I was running the fever and went to the clinic on my way to the hospital. Of all the days they could pick for me to answer questions about. I had to ask Paul for some of the stuff. "How long did we wait in the waiting room, anyway?" It is kind of a fog for me.

You know the survey, rate everything on some kind of a scale: Excellent, very good, good, fair, poor. Like that. And they had what felt like dozens of questions. My soup was getting cold, but I was a good scout. I figure they are trying to improve their service, so I answered the dang questions. The thing is, I have gone through this before, several times. I guess I get to answer them most often in the family because: a) I visit the clinic more than anybody else, and b) I am usually the one who takes the boys in, so I get to answer for them, too.

Tonight, I got a call from a similar company calling on behalf of the hospital. I was just about to drain the spaghetti, so I was a little more on top of things, and asked them to call me back in about an hour. They did, and I was a sucker, er, good scout, again.

It just amazes me the banality of the questions they come up with, especially the one they both asked: "How would your rate your health overall?" Now, how the heck am I supposed to answer that on the scale they give me? They have no option for "Well, I'm being treated for cancer, but other than that, I'm in pretty good health!" I said "good," or its equivalent. At least the HMO survey had some space for commentary, and she would type in what I said. I don't think the hospital one had anything like that.

In spite of my ranting and raving on the updates, I think both agencies did a pretty good job within the current healthcare system. What does that say about the current system? I rarely answer questions like they asked me with the highest marks. In surveys like that, "excellent" and "very good" are pretty much the same, anyway. I even gave the hospital food a "very good." It was, but I never ordered the "whipped potatoes," either. Hey, how often do we have cheese blinzes at home? Okay, it had canned cherry pie filling on top, but still . . .

I rate this posting as "good." ;-)


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