Today we got home to the much anticipated response to our complaint letter we sent to the clinic about 3 weeks ago:
Many thanks for your letter and honest feedback regarding your experience at our clinic. Your detailed description of the events was very helpful in my investigation and review of our communication with you and our systems. I appreciate the time you took to reflect back on your treatment and grateful that you chose to share this with us in a constructive manner.
I acknowledge your disappointment and inconvenience resulting from some of the errors our staff have made and apologise for the way this must have made you feel.
I have reviewed the events you described with representatives from all disciplines in the clinic. We have discussed all communication failures indicated in your letter and where appropriate discussed these with the employee involved. It was important to us to identify improvements to our systems so it will harder for an individual to make such mistakes in the future. I am pleased that as a result of your letter we were able to identify some system shortfalls and find ways to improve how we do things.
The following are now being implemented.
Documentation of treatment plan:
After each DI/IUI cycle, the doctor who review the cycle stimulation and result will be required to document a new plan on the electronic file. No cycle will commence without such new plan. The Nurse will ensure the plan is available before forwarding day 1 to the laboratory for processing. The Lab will act as safety net and ensure plan is available before finalising graphs and planner for the patient. Information regarding patient’s need for heavy sedation, Sydney IVF catheter or other medical additions will be recorded on the plan. This will ensure medical information gained from previous cycles will be updated and available for current cycle.
Our electronic record software is limited in its display options. When recording a request from a patient, for example: “please phone me between 2:00-4:00 only”, as the record gets older, we have to scroll down the page to view this request and therefore, it is likely to be missed. We have agreed a new system where patient communication instructions will be recorded on an ALERT, that will automatically display on a window when viewing the patient’s file. This could also be helpful when communicating with same sex couples to avoid staff making assumptions based on names (I couldn’t identify more with your description of how our staff referred to Tui as a “he” as people often expect to see an Indian male before meeting with me!).
Cycle Date Planner:
Nurses will issue cycle date planner documents to patients as soon as dates become available from the laboratory, which is no longer than 5 days after day 1 recieved. This is to ensure patients have written instructions of what’s next and have sufficient time to prepare.
I am very sorry for the difficulties you encountered with our service delivery and thank you for your effort in writing and bringing your experience to our attention and reflection. Although this letter cannot change the experience for you, it allowed us to learn and improve our service to others.
I have discussed your question regarding public funding over the phone with you, but please do not hesitate to contact me again for any additional information.
I wish you all the best for the future.
All in all, we’re pretty happy with the response. It would have been nice to get something of monetary value of course (we wouldn’t have turned down a free round of ivf for example) but really all we wanted out of this was an apology and for them to look at their processes. Which we got.. so yay!
My favourite line is this one:” It was important to us to identify improvements to our systems so it will harder for an individual to make such mistakes in the future.”
To me this just pretty much sums up where they’ve gone wrong – individuals making mistakes within a system that freely allows it.
We are pleased to see that they have taken it all seriously and hope the implementation of these changes will make for a smoother interaction for all of their future clients. Especially seeing as we’re not done with using them yet! Time will tell…