Thank you to the 313 patients at Blackburn Clinic who took the time to complete a Patient survey recently. We will use your feedback to review and improve our general practice.
Did you realise that you are no more out of pocket for a Long Consultation than a Standard Consultation?
Many patients noted that, on occasion, their doctor runs late. Some patients also commented that they would like more time during their consultation. This got us thinking about why doctors run late. Sometimes this happens due to unforeseeable medical emergencies, but more commonly the reasons relate to earlier consultations running overtime—either because insufficient time was booked, or extra family members were squeezed into the appointment rather than having a separate time booked.
We aim to keep the Gap the same for both standard and long consultations. Medicare rebates are credited to patient accounts within 48 hours of the consultation (often same day), giving you another reason to book the time that you need.
Your doctor doesn’t mind—In fact, we encourage patients to book long consultations if they feel they need to spend longer with their doctor, and especially if they have several issues that they wish to have addressed by the doctor.
Our doctors don’t enjoy running late and they don’t want you to be inconvenienced, so if you need more time please book a longer appointment. Our online booking system does not yet allow for longer appointments but we are working with our software provider towards a solution for this. In the meantime, please telephone the clinic in order to book a longer appointment.
|This table shows scores by topic area, benchmarked against similar sized general practices in similar metropolitan locations.||BLACKBURN CLINIC (more than 6 full time GPs)||BLACKBURN SPECIALIST CENTRE
(2-4 full time GPs)
|Domain||Our mean score (%)||Benchmark score (%)||Our mean score (%)||Benchmark score (%)|
|1– Access and availability||73||70||77||76|
|2-Provision of information||76||75||81||81|
|3-Privacy and confidentiality||81||76||85||81|
|4-Continuity of care||75||74||79||81|
|5-Communication skills of staff||87||83||91||87|
|6-Interpersonal skills of clinical staff||89||84||92||88|
Things we’d like to score better on:
Seeing doctor of choice—we make no apology for having great doctors! They are so popular it is no wonder they are often booked up in advance. We recommend that every patient chooses a “back-up doctor” from the quality group of GPs available at Blackburn Clinic and Blackburn Specialist Centre. That way you can get to know a second doctor, so that when your first choice isn’t available you can still see someone familiar. In an ideal world we’d love to always have your favourite GP available, but until cloning becomes commonplace we just can’t achieve this. Our doctors are a team and they don’t mind sharing!
Telephone access to a doctor—If you phone the clinic requesting to speak to your doctor, you may be asked to leave a number on which you can be contacted. Most doctors return phone calls at the end of their session (either during their lunch break or at the end of the day). If the matter is urgent, either your doctor, another doctor or the practice nurse will be able to take your call immediately.
Please understand that in many instances, the doctor or nurse will be unable to provide advice over the telephone. Blackburn Clinic is very conscious of the risk of providing incorrect advice over the phone, and wherever possible, patients are encouraged to attend the clinic in person.
Home visits—We note that over half of the 313 patients who completed a survey at Blackburn Clinic left the question about ease of obtaining a home/other visit blank. This means they either didn’t know that our doctors can do home visits, or they had never needed to use the service. 128 out of the 146 who did respond rated this question as Good, Very Good or Excellent (that is 87% of respondents were happy). The situation was similar for Specialist Centre surveys. On weekdays we do home visits for our patients in the local area if necessary. For example, if you suspect you have a highly infectious disease (eg. measles) you could ask for a home visit. Where possible we ask that you ring before 10:00am to arrange home visits. Sometimes demand for this service will exceed our ability to respond and you may be asked whether you would like a locum visit arranged. Fees will be charged for all home visits.