Monday, January 23, 2006

Hee hee, I just realized something.

Our location is going to meet at lunchtime on Thursday to discuss some procedural issues that have cropped up for our practice. Specifically, there's something we have now called the Urgent Clinic: specific days when time is set aside for new patients who need a follow-up appointment ASAP, such as people who've recently been discharged from the hospital.

We, the front desk staff, received very specific instructions on how to fill those slots. Basically, one of our doctors has to give the directive to make the appointment. Patients can't ask to be put in there; it has to be decided by a doctor who's aware of the case that the patient urgently needs to be seen.

But welcome to the world of fluid boundaries, where an immutable rule can be declared flexible without prior warning, and people can be chastised for following instructions that were previously set in stone. No sooner did we attempt to screen the appointments as we'd been instructed, by having the on-call fellows review the patients' situations, then we were wrong. NOW we mustn't stand between patients and their care.

Even though I'm aware that rules can get pulled out from under us abruptly, rendering us wrong without warning, it rankles me to be chastised for following instructions that have unexpectedly been deemed outdated. So I was looking forward to this staff meeting like I'd look forward to a hole in the head.

So, why am I starting my post with, "Hee hee"?

Because I just realized that I'm filling in at the other rheumatology site, the one a few blocks away, on Thursday. I think I get to miss this staff meeting. :o)

That's OK, they can just send me the meeting notes. Then I'll know what the new, soon-to-be-altered immutable rules are.

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