Your satisfaction is important to us

I’ve recently had a series of appointments with various health care providers, so I’ve been asked to complete some post-visit satisfaction questionnaires. My experiences have been less than satisfying, and reminded me of my experiences a couple of years ago after a lengthy diagnostic episode followed by surgery. Here’s what I wrote at the time, and I’m sorry to say that at least for me, nothing has changed in three years. I wonder if others are having more positive experiences, or if my experience is typical. Read on… I’ve had a lot of “health care encounters” over the past few months. And while it’s been stressful, I’ve been lucky because my health problems have not been life-threatening – mostly just the “woman-meets-midlife” variety. There was the lengthy build up to surgery, the surgery itself, and now I’m recovering. It feels great to be (almost) done with this particular chapter in my life. Not surprisingly, I’ve seen a lot of doctors and I’ve had lots of diagnostic tests over the past few months. After many of these encounters I’ve been asked to complete satisfaction questionnaires. “Your satisfaction is important to us”, they all begin. Sorry, but that’s a little like the now-infamous, “Your call is important to us”. You know the joke: After waiting on hold forever, you don’t really believe that your call is important to anyone. Similarly, after seeing the questionnaires I’ve seen, it’s hard to believe that my satisfaction is important to anyone. It’s clearly not important enough to measure it very well. Before you assume that I was looking at the questionnaires with a critic’s eye,...