Today's issue: Follow-up is critical to resolving caregiver and vet/warrior problems.
Yet, it is so very, very difficult to “encourage” follow-up or to escalate the issue(s) because it’s often a case of “Shoot the Messenger”. Not good.
There are many unresolved issues we could write about here, but our goal is not to point fingers. We do, however, want to voice that most problems are best solved while they are small and manageable. Left hanging, caregivers and vets/warriors become increasingly frustrated, with some descending into depression and high anxiety with no way to receive an answer to a question. When caregivers direct their questions to a superior, they are often told that they are overstepping, that they should accept that the system is slow, and to “wait their turn”. Problems grow and ferment.
Not good. There is a better way to manage this for both sides.
We implore the system to consider making customer service a priority – for medical and mental health reasons. A callback or email is proof that someone cares. Most of the time, the healthcare provider would not receive 4-6 reminder voicemails if they made a quick return call or email to alert the caller that they are looking into their problem and when to expect a response. And, if a response time is provided to a caregiver or veteran, they should then refrain from repeat calls and messages and await the response. Just think, fewer voicemail boxes full and not accepting messages! Setting expectations is both a courteous and safe alternative to a stressed system.
We all have 24 hours in each day and make choices on how to spend that time. If overall communication is improved, it would go a long way toward making more of those work hours productive and efficient. Can we please make a commitment to work on this?
Thanks to countless caregivers and vets for their input and feedback to providing a potential solution to this growing challenge.
Linda Kreter & the VeteranCaregiver Team