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When Is it Time to Make an Appointment?

By Charles Hutchings, Special Contributor

Good question – when is it time to make an appointment with the doctor? The usual answer is when you do not feel well; I think that’s what my Mom would say to me!

We asked you this question a few months ago with interesting results: Almost 100% of you said you had been to another provider (or multiple providers) prior to seeking out Lung Centers of America and 89% of you took time to ask friends and family about care options in addition to web research prior to contacting us for an appointment. Also interesting in that this process took an average of 89 days for many of you.

The general advice is to make an appointment when needed, or as advised by your physician, but do not wait till the last minute. Our office can generally get you in for a visit in your desired or timeframe, but this is not always the case. Delayed appointments may cause interruption of care, testing and additional needs beneficial to your care.

If you are making an appointment as a new patient, the wait may be a few days longer than if you are already established; we will assist in coordinating medical records, x-rays and additional needed information when you initially contact us to expedite the process.

The healthcare industry and Lung Center of America are in the early, and varied, steps of reviewing and implementing additional options to assist in easing patient appointments and needs:

Telemed services allow you to interact by video with office staffs and physicians; most commonly used in primary care and urgent care visits, we are looking at this option for established patient care in our Center.

Phone consults allow patients to interact with staff and physicians by phone on a scheduled basis as you would come to the office. There are requirements for the visits but we are at LCOA are able to perform these visits based on your condition and needs; ask our staff if this is an option for you.

So when should you make an appointment? As recommended but don’t wait too long potentially delaying your care. However, stay tuned – your appointment down the road may be by internet or telephone verses coming into the office!


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