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(Tuesday, May 13, 2014)
Often patients complain to me at length about the bad services they received at their earlier IVF clinic. Many patients change their IVF clinic because they are dissatisfied with the poor quality of service they received . Many of them are unhappy with the incomplete documentation of the IVF treatment they were provided with. When they articulate their complaints to me, I ask them whether they lodged a written complaint at the concerned clinic. This question stumps most of them. Not many patients take the effort to document the problem they faced.
Many patients are understandably scared of the doctor and the clinic staff. They feel if they complain about their medical care, the administration would get vengeful and give them substandard treatment. Patients do not want to risk angering their doctor , because they are scared this will compromise their treatment quality even more. They therefore remain silent. Some patients are under the impression that doctors are too high and mighty to take their complaints seriously . And once the patient has been discharged from the clinic, they feel complaining is pointless as it would not help them in any way. I feel this a selfish attitude and by keeping quiet, patients are doing a disservice to themselves; to doctors; and to other patients.
Patients should make it a point to inform the authorities about the problems they faced during their stay. Good doctors and clinic would benefit from this constructive feedback. A clinic can improve its services only when they know where they are lacking. When a patient chooses to complain, a responsive and responsible doctor can take steps to improve his organization. This would help to improve the care of the next patient.
Providing feedback and criticism to the clinic can be mutually rewarding. The patients get the benefit of better quality treatment and the doctor can improve his existing systems.