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Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Hate Hadassa Ein Kerem

Don't miss my public survey about cellphones -- Please contribute your opinion!!

*************** warning: rant ***************

I hate Hadassah Ein Kerem.

Forget about the fact that I have experienced serious medical negligence there (maybe I will post that story another time). Right now, what irks me is the incredible lack of courtesy and professionalism. For the most part, the staff there, from the doctors down to the secretaries, is decidedly unpleasant to deal with. (The radiation department is a noteworthy exception to this rule)

I have filed formal complaints several times about the grossest behavior I encountered, but I cannot take the time to make a complaint every time I deal with a rude secretary. There are just too many of them!

To be fair, the hospital seems to be dealing with complaints more seriously than in the past. Their new guidelines require them to respond to complaints in writing, detailing what has been done to address the issues raised. So, I do encourage making a formal complaint. Still, Hadassah EK needs some serious overhaul/re-training if they are going to change the atmosphere there. Perhaps if enough of us complain, it will make a difference.

Meanwhile, I try to avoid Hadassah EK as much as possible. Unfortunately, Hadassah EK is the largest hospital in Jerusalem; many medical services and treatments are only available there. It is the only place in Jerusalem for radiation. It is also the only place I can get an MRI. (Once a week there is a mobile MRI unit at Sha'are Zedek, but my health fund will only cover an MRI at Hadassah.)

Just getting an appointment for an MRI is a major headache! It starts with the bureaucracy:
First, you have to fax them your referral (hafnaya).
Then, you have to wait 24 hours.
Then, can you call to schedule an appointment.

If, as is what happened with me, they do not receive/find the fax, then you can refax the referral and they will schedule an appointment with you right away.

On Wednesday, I spoke with three secretaries (1 who cut me off, 1 who yelled at me, and 1 who actually helped me) just to find out that they did not get the fax.

I do not have a working fax at home (long story; short version: we want to get a laser printer/scanner/fax but I just have not gotten around to getting it. It would be simple, if we were not particular about wanting a color printer, but we are. Those machines are expensive and we just keep putting it off. So, there you have it) . Since we do most of our "business" by email, we do not need a fax often. If we need to send a fax, Moshe usually sends it from work.

So, I called Moshe and he sent the fax, again. Then I called, again, to schedule the MRI. The fax did not include my name and ID number, without which they will not make an appointment.

I thought I needed to get a whole new referral. So I called the hospital; they said: just add your name and ID number to the referral. OK then!

So I called Moshe, again. He added my name and ID, and tried to resend the fax. It took him over an hour to get the fax through.

Then it was my turn to call them again. When I finally got through, on Thursday, they gave me an appointment in November! I explained that I am supposed to have the MRI a month and a half after I finished radiation. "You'll have to speak with [so-and-so], call back on Sunday."

Boys and girls, can you say "frustration!"?

Footnote: I did not call earlier to make the appointment because I thought I had to include the hitchayvut (commitment to pay) from my kupat holim (HMO). I called now because a friend just told me that I only need the referral to make the appointment, I do not have to wait until I received the hitchayvut. At least now I know for next time!

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Baila said...

Wow. I am so sorry to hear that. I thought it was a premier hospital. I hope I have a couple of minutes to talk about this with you at the convention tomorrow (you're coming, right?)

Mindy said...

I am so sorry to hear that is happening. I am changing doctors/hospital for thye third time. I have lowered my standards enough to just want a doctor who is nice, has a nurse who is nice and both remember my name. Sometimes I feel like yelling, "I have CANCER! Shouldn't you be NICE to me?" Instead, I blog. Hope you get that appointment soon and that you will have good results.

Sarah said...

When I had my MRI at Hadassa EK, they originally lost the interpretation (pianuach). I was another two weeks until I got it, which made almost a month after the MRI that I got the written results.
At the mobile unit at Sha'arei Tzedek I just had one this last Tuesday, and it was quick, polite and easy.
BTDT. I hate all the faxing and paperwork. Also for the disability paperwork. It is a full time job to be sick isn't it.
Tachziki Ma'amad!

Anonymous said...

I found Hadassa to be slowly improving (over 20 years) but still disgusting a fair amount of the time.
Hang in there, they are not worth spending your vital energy on! You are important, and unfortunately their services are too. Try to ignore the rest, or make a point of complaining and know you are doing a mitzva for the rest of the victims, ahem, sufferers...
Refua Shelema and Shana Tova Umetuka

Batya said...

No surprise. When my son was in 19 years ago, (wow so long,) after a serious accident, they were nasty about our using their precious disposable cups. My mother was in shock.
Technically the medical care was ok, but human relations were a nightmare.

Karen said...

When I tried to schedule my MRI there, the woman wouldn't make the appointment because the referral was from a primary care doctor. I had a neurologist appointment but not for two months and I wanted to be able to just bring him the results. They said that Maccabi wouldn't give a hithayavut for the MRI, the request had to come from a neurologist. Fair enough, maybe they usually require a specialist, but I already had the hithayavut from Maccabi. Impossible, the woman said. I offered to fax it but she said no, you bring it to the appointment. OK, I will -- but she wouldn't make me an appointment. Maccabi won't pay for an MRI that isn't ordered by a neurologist, she explained again, like I was an idiot. But they already agreed to, I said, I'm holding the hithayavut in my hand. Can I fax it to you? No, she said, I already TOLD you, you bring it to the appointment ....

uberimma said...


All I can think about is, What if you didn't have good Hebrew? You'd be absolutely, completely sunk.

Gila said...

My experiences with Hadassah Ein Kerem have been better than yours...though I have had enough bad ones that I can completely believe all this happening!

Am forwarding a link to your post to someone I know from the Hadassah Organization. This should be read.