Apollo Hospital… you were almost there!

April 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm 7 comments

Since I have worked with a few -star super specialty hospitals I know what to expect or not to when it comes to service, ambience, patient service, doctor’s appointment et al. Last Saturday, I was at Apollo Hospital, Delhi for dad’s check-up and though I thought it will be an in & out visit we ended up spending a few hours in what I call an ‘organized chaos’. Apollo almost won me over but for its last but a big faux-pas.

I had taken a prior appointment so when I went to the registration desk and paid the fee (a whooping Rs. 700)-definitely not an affordable OPD charges. Along with the receipt they handed me a feedback form. I told the lady at the reception -I am visiting after 4-5 years and have been in only 5 mins, too soon for me to comment on the services. However she insisted not her fault she would be asked by the hospital operations manager how many she got filled (targets here too!).  I filled up some of the obvious questions like ‘does your doc answer your queries in details’? – Obviously yes, it’s only for the same doc I visit Apollo!

The doc advised some investigative tests. I was happy that all payments were made at one go within 2 mins (everyone is quick while taking money) ;). Every department was methodical and responsive. One of the blood test which had to be done at the emergency (staff is very polite) before taking the sample explained the intricacy of it.

Half an hour waiting at each department which wasn’t much counting the patient burden the hospital has. Everything was fine till we reached the ECHO lab. Two consultants and one senior doctor to corroborate the report. They looked so stricken and serious while doing the test that my heart must have missed a few beats. Exchanged a few medical terms between themselves and asked us to wait for an hour for the report. The docs looked so unfriendly that I didn’t feel like asking if all was okay. 

I understand the wait for path reports but for tests like ECHO the cardiologists doing the test can at least tell the patient and family if the their is no reason to worry? It would take less than 30 seconds of their time but give lot of peaceful moments to the family.

We returned to the hospital for a follow-up on Monday i.e today to collect the reports and discuss them with our doc. Apollo’s OPD areas are segregated on different floors as per specialty. Respiratory where we had to go is on the 2nd floor. While we had been waiting for the lift to come for 10 mins, a hospital staff informed that it wasn’t functioning and that we should take the stairs. I inquired about an alternative lift no one had a clue. No notice of ‘lift out of order was put up’. The guard on the entrance couldn’t care a less. Finally a lady comes and repeats the same thing take the stairs.

How do you expect a patient with breathing problem to climb two floors and pat came a reply then wait for it to get repaired!

Dad did climb two floors and it took ten minutes for him to catch his breath.
It was indeed a showdown and proved Apollo staff has no empathy with its patients. 

Apollo- you woo and wow with your marketing strategies. You made people take pledge for a healthy heart. How about taking one yourself to be more polite towards your patients, act and answer responsibly!

I again filled-up a feedback form and this time with a complaint. Within an hour I get a response which reads ‘ Thank you for your valuable feedback. We appreciate you chose us as your preferred healthcare provider.’

Thanks Apollo for acknowledging my feedback. Take this post as a confirmation receipt from me!

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Entry filed under: Me & Media. Tags: , , , , , , .

Too close yet too far…! We, the Jan of the Lokpal

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mayank  |  April 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I hope you follow up on the complaint and escalate.

    Reply
  • 2. Zephyr  |  April 18, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    The bigger the hospital, the more the costs and the less the empathy factor. I second Mayank.

    Reply
  • 3. Purbaray  |  April 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    The staff has no business talking to you like that. Go their website, send a terse mail with all your grievances.

    Reply
  • 4. delhizen  |  April 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    @ Mayank, CN & Purba: They read the post and their operations manager sent an apology e-mail regretting about the inconvenience caused and also for unkind behaviour of its hospital staff.

    Thanks for the support guys!

    Reply
  • 5. Writerzblock  |  May 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Lack of empathy!!! So common! Sadly, so common that we don’t even realise that there is a better way to live. Hope your dad is better now 🙂 Btw, I came over from the much-heated-discussion on K’s blog. U’re my namesake? Yippee!! When I come to Chennai next time, I’d love to meet you. Would you be able to spare an hour for me?

    Reply
    • 6. delhizen  |  May 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      Dad’s romba fine! Nandri 🙂

      Reply
  • 7. A Hospital Stay is No Holiday | Delhizen's Blog  |  April 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    […] would rather have polite staff (read my post on Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi), speedy processes, an attentive nurse checking on my patient, counseling family on the […]

    Reply

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