Letter: Clinic needs to deal with its own issues first

To the editor:
It was with great sadness I read the obstetrics department at the New River Medical Center is no longer open. It provided a much-needed service in the community and was second to none in the care, staff and services it provided.
I take great issue with the president of the Monticello Clinic, Dr. John Hering, stating the hospital’s numbers were not down because of Monticello Clinic doctors referring patients to other hospitals. This statement is preposterous.
May 1, I arrived at the front desk at the Monticello Clinic to check in for a Pad net test. A friendly receptionist checked me in. Every time she made an entry the electronic records system slowed to a halt. She said this happens the first day of every month. We had long gaps of time so we visited about many things. It took 15 minutes to check in and I was 10 minutes late for my appointment.
I checked in downstairs. I waited about 10 minutes and what went on was incredible. Apparently the medical records system was of no use and in order to keep some line of communication going the receptionist had to leave her desk and physically go back to the patient rooms and keep track of what was going on, and if the medical professionals were running late. In 10 minutes this happened three times. I felt very sorry for her because I could see it was making her a nervous wreck. How many other days do these poor ladies have to endure this kind of stress?
Two days later I arrived at my doctor’s office and asked for my test results. They hadn’t received them so they called the Monticello Clinic and were told they could see I had been in but they could not find my records and would get back to them.
The following Monday, a nurse called me to schedule another Pad net test. I told her I had just had one, she looked on the records and could see I had one and said she was confused. The next morning I received another call to reschedule another Pad net test and again it was stated they could not find it. I told her it was incredibly painful for me to endure this test but I rescheduled it.
May 15, I went to the Monticello Clinic for the second test. We got to the exam room and I asked her about the other test. It was then and only then I was told that the graph on the other test could not be read by the diagnostic specialist and that it had been deleted. I had been angry for two weeks because I was told the test was lost. The test is so painful for me and to have to endure it again really upset me. There was no apology. Once again I felt disrespected.
Dr. Hering I suggest you work on problems within your own clinic walls, which there are many, before you begin to attack Marshall Smith, CEO, New River Medical Center, and thank goodness he had the wisdom not to choose the medical records system you are saddled with.
The position of president in any organization requires and demands the art of diplomacy and the skill of negotiation, you, Dr. Heuring have proven you have neither of these qualities.
Joyce Swingley
Monticello

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