By Dan Barber, Public Affairs Officer
Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital
Showing up late or not showing up at all for medical appointments is an ongoing challenge for Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms in trying to manage a productive clinic schedule. The hospital’s clinics are run on an appointment basis, and they try to stay on schedule. At times there may be an opportunity for a patient to walk-in and be seen... usually because someone else failed to show up for their appointment.
Occasional emergencies arise, or a procedure takes longer than anticipated which delays some appointments. However, over the years, it has been shown that when patients are kept waiting beyond their appointed time, it is usually because a previous patient showed up late. If this happens the clinics can both see the late patient and keep everyone after them waiting, rush through the appointment which our providers have indicated they will not do, or reschedule the appointment for another time.
If late for an appointment, the clinic will see you if the schedule permits but you may have to wait and/or see another provider. If this is not possible for you or the clinic, you will be asked to reschedule. If you or your family member’s condition is deemed serious, arrangements will be made to be seen in the Emergency Department, and if it does not negatively impact other patient care. If the provider feels that seeing you late will cause an inconvenience for others, then you will be asked to reschedule.
If unable to keep an appointment, please give the hospital as much notice as possible. This is in consideration of the hospital staff that has scheduled their time around your expected visit.
Here are some tips that will help you become more punctual; Give yourself extra time, just in case you are delayed by weather, traffic or other circumstances. Keep only one planner; carry it between your home, workplace, or daily appointments. Use a watch, or an electronic organizer with a beeper to provide you with reminders.
If you know that an appointment can’t be kept, give the clinic as much notice as possible by calling 760-830-2752 or visit the hospital web site at http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nhtp/Pages/default.aspx