Sunday, October 03, 2004

Ready Access 

Anyone who deals with America's health care system can tell you horror stories. But, one service seems to be working, and it builds good relationships with patients. That service is Ready Access -- a place where one can go at any time of the day and most of the night and get medical help. Ready Access reduces the burden on emergency rooms and allows patients of health care groups to visit doctors they are likely to know.

Ready Access weighs on medical groups because it must be staffed and available, but the difference in public relations is enormous. I have been fighting an infection for days now and on Saturday, after another bout of coughing, hacking, sneezing and wheezing, my wife determined she wasn't going to put up with me any longer. She told me to go to Ready Access NOW. So I went. There isn't patient chitchat in a service that handles symptoms in bulk. But, the doctor was efficient, quick and apparently accurate in his diagnosis of the problem. In less than 10 minutes, he had me in and out with two prescriptions in my hand. So, he might not be the kindly General Practitioner of old, but his bedside manner was good enough for me. I just needed relief.

Good PR comes in many forms. It needn't always be a smiling face and friendly manner. That's something we shouldn't forget.


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