Response from Clinic

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…


About Tui

30-something kiwi-lesbian-stay at home-Mama, raising our toddler son with my wife, two cats and one dog.
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12 Responses to Response from Clinic

  1. vee says:

    Well, it’s good to know they’ve taken the matter seriously and used your feedback constructively. Like you, I was hoping you’d get something free for all your trouble, but at least things might be better from now on, for you an others, so well done for making the effort. I hope it was a cathartic experience for you.

  2. Heidi says:

    I am so glad they got back to you. Their answer sounds very honest, and not all clinical and “form”-like at all.

    (I was rooting for the free ivf for you too)


  3. Bree says:

    I am proud of you both for doing such an excellent job of speaking up, and ultimately advocating for those who will come after you.

  4. S says:

    Wow, impressive response!

  5. Joul says:

    I’m so glad you received a response like that.

  6. Next in line says:

    I love that you took the time to gather all that information together. Hopefully it helps them make some changes.

  7. Geek says:

    Wow. A personal response. Here’s hoping those words turn into actions and vast improvements are made.
    Apart from the free cycle, that is the best outcome you could have got.

  8. Gayby Rabies says:

    The wording of that response really is funny in some parts. So now you know that if someone at the clinic messes up, they were trying REALLY HARD to make a mistake. Sorry to hear that you didn’t get any sort of monetary compensation for all of the clinic errors, but it sounds like you got them thinking about some of their policies and procedures. I hope that the changes make it easier for you to deal with the clinic in the future.

  9. strawberry says:

    Wow. Look at the great things you set into motion there. Good job! It really sounds like they’re going to take initiative.

  10. poppycat says:

    I have to admit I would have been pretty happy with that response as well and I’m glad she was able to address all of your concerns and complaints in an appropriate way. Sometimes all you need is some validation and an apology to make things right.

    I’m glad you got what you needed from them and I am even more happy that others will not have the same problems you did.

  11. thebao says:

    How wonderful that your letter has effected so much change in the way the clinic operates. It sounds like your initiative really made them sit up and take notice, and I know that you, as well as many other couples who use that clinic, will benefit from your actions. Rock on!

  12. Olive says:

    Good job, you two. I’m glad you got an apology and a nice, thorough response. I too wish it had included a free IVF! but the validation is definitely a good thing.

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