Perhaps the hospital atmosphere where you receive your regular IV therapy is beginning to get a little too impersonal and “hospital-like.” Maybe your physician has referred you to an independent provider that’s more comfortable, but you’ve experienced a few things there recently that rub you the wrong way. Maybe the new requirements for specialty pharmacies are forcing a change from your physician’s suite to another accredited pharmacy for your infusions.
Whatever the case, you spend a lot of time receiving IV therapy and you should be completely at home wherever it is you go. But if you’re not, or if the regulatory changes are mandating a facility change and you want to be proactive about your referral, what do you do?
Well, in a perfect world, you do your due diligence, figure out where you’d like to go, and then just ask your doctor to make the referral. However, sometimes conveying our wants and needs feels a little like we’re telling our doctor how to do his job, while other times, we put physicians above reproach and just don’t speak up at all.
The thing to remember is that doctors are people too, and just like addressing an uncomfortable subject with a neighbor or colleague, etc. there are a few techniques that can help you get what you want without ruffling feathers.
State Your Issue in Emotional Terms
Let’s say the bathroom at your IV facility is frequently unkempt, for example. The fact that it’s often dirty is not a direct indication of the technicians not washing their hands, the IV implements not being sterile, the medications not being stored at hygienic temperatures, etc. However, typical human nature might well start you down that train of thought upon seeing an unkempt bathroom.
So, state the issue and follow it up with how it makes you feel. “The bathroom has been dirty a number of times and it makes me uncomfortable. It makes me wonder what I DON’T see.” While a man or woman of science—a.k.a. your physician—can debate facts, your feelings are valid, and how something makes you feel is not debatable.
Provide the Solution
Requesting a referral to an alternative infusion therapy center without knowing where you would like to go not only risks a poor choice, but also increases the workload of your physician who must research the appropriate facility to which to send you. Does the alternative facility stock the medications you require, for example? Do they accept your insurance? Are they open for appointment times that work with your busy schedule? Even if your physician has an alternative in mind, there are a number of items to verify before a suitable referral can be made.
If, however, you have completed your due diligence and have a substitute center in mind, you’re making your physician’s job easier, which can make the conversation a little less awkward. In addition to stocked medications and insurance concerns, you’ll want to be sure they’re located conveniently and provide their services during convenient hours. And nothing substitutes for an in-person visit. At Heartland Infusion Therapy, we highly recommend dropping by and seeing for yourself that you’re indeed making an upgrade with your change.
Do Your Homework
It’s doubtful that a request to change IV therapy centers will get as far as you having to state your actual due diligence about the new facility. However, we do encourage you to research the following about any IV therapy center you’re considering:
• What is the education of the staff and general level of expertise?
• Does the facility accept insurance, and do they provide filing assistance?
• How’s the cleanliness (and yes visit that bathroom 🙂 )?
• How is the customer service? How welcoming is the staff?
• What is their chain of dispense of medications from manufacturer to arm?
• How are the medications stored?
• How long is a typical visit from arrival to departure?
• Does the facility have private treatment rooms as well as open seating?
• Is WiFi provided? Television? Reading material?
• Are there accommodations for accompanying children and adults?
• Is the center in proximity to restaurants, retail and other conveniences?
• Does the center offer transportation to and from treatment?
• Does the center offer infusion therapy on weekends?
At Heartland Infusion Therapy, we provide all that and more. Please call or stop in for a tour of our facility. You’re welcome any time.