To the Editor:
When walking into the new Martha’s Vineyard Hospital you are immediately enveloped in the lap of luxury. It is what I always imagined the VIP lounge at a casino to look like. While I don’t understand the need for a baby grand piano sitting on expensive wood floors in the front lobby of a hospital, the message I received was that upon arrival I would be serenaded by a world-class pianist, while “McDreamy” and “McSteamyesque” doctors coddle even the smallest of splinters with first class service and a sparkling smile.
Flash to reality, where a cold impersonal woman at the front desk avoided any and all eye contact and took three phone calls without so much as a smile or a gesture to let us know she’d be right with us, or with us at all. It wasn’t until I stormed my pregnant self away from the situation and around the corner that my husband and I faintly heard, “Can I help you folks?”
I can only assume that since our up-Island, weather-appropriate duds didn’t match the pristine “Great Gatsby”-like decorum of the upper crust new hospital that it was beneath her to even make eye contact with us “folks.”
Moving on. I am at the hospital for my first appointment for prenatal care. I’ve had the appointment for one month. At the receptionist’s desk while checking in I’m told, “Oh you didn’t get the message? We double-booked so your appointment isn’t until Wednesday.”
No, I didn’t get the message, that’s why I’m here.
“Oh well, you’re voicemail said it wasn’t set up.”
Okay, so how would I get the message then? Turns out they called the wrong phone number and between the staff they couldn’t figure out a solution. They could have called the other patient since they could reach her and reschedule hers. They could have made my appointment slightly later so that it was still the same day. They could have called my referring physician for my correct phone number. Or they could have sent me a letter, since it was a month in advance. What they didn’t do was think that my time was worth the effort of any of these so-simple solutions.
So, with that said, my opinion is as follows. New hospital, waste of money. We should have instead invested in friendly, personable staff with brains in their heads, to figure out solutions to simple problems. Is this why health care is so costly?