In the data sheet form that I ask patient to fill-up in my clinic, I include fields on contact information (landline number, cellphone number, and email address of patients and cellphone number of relatives).
Today, I will refine the strategies in my getting the contact numbers of my patients and relatives when I foresee that I may have to contact them right away. A common situation is when patients are scheduled for admission and operation. I may need to contact them right away if there is a need to change schedule. Another situation is when patients are being closely follow-up by me. I may need to contact them to check their status.
Starting January 7, 2018, before discharge from my clinic or from the hospital, I will ask for their cellphone numbers (patient and a guardian) by making them SMS or text me and my secretary their numbers and names. So, what will appear in my cellphone log (also in my secretary’s cellphone log) will be a number that contains the name of the patient and of course the cellphone number and another number that contains the name of guardian, his patient, and the cellphone number.
This way, I and my secretary will find it easy to contact them when we need to do.
Trigger for this continual refinement:
I have to change a schedule of admission and operation for a patient originally scheduled on January 9, 2018 (Black Nazarene or Quiapo Day). I realize the need to do the change only on a weekend (Saturday evening). Her records were in the clinic. I did not have her cell number. I decided to call up my classmate, Isa Ortega, who referred patient to me, for assistance. Fortunately, Isa had the contact number of the patient. On Sunday, I was able to call up the patient and advised her on the change of schedule of admission and operation. A little hassle which can be avoided by my new strategy.
Additional strategy: for those with Facebook account, to tell them to keep in touch with me in Facebook. However, this is not as quick as using cellphone communication.
Case in point:
December 19, 2017, a patient was scheduled for breast cancer operation. She was supposed to check into the hospital on December 18, 2017. At 5 pm on December 18, 2017, no news from her. I tried the cellphone number of her relative given to me before. I did not have her new cellphone number as she just arrived from Vietnam. No answer. She had to admitted on December 18, 2017 because December 19, 2017 was my last day of operation (I was leaving for abroad on December 22, 2017). She had Facebook account. I private messaged her at 6 pm. Fortunately, at 7 pm, she responded through FB messenger. She thought all the while she would check in and have the operation on December 19, 2017. I said no. She had to check in the day before (December 18, 2017). With this information, she right away packed her stuff and went to the hospital and checked-in at 10 pm. The operation went on as scheduled.