Friday, August 17, 2018

Did You Go to the Donald Trump School For Customer Service?

Here is the email exchange I had today with Sai Duvvuri, the office manager of DFW Neurology.

I actually had a burst of anger at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning and wrote it then. But when I woke up later and checked my emails, I saw it was still in draft form. You know how they say you should wait before sending an angry email. Well, I didn't plan to wait, but it happened anyway. And after reading the email, I felt no hesitation in sending it.  

So here's my email.

Dear Mr. Duvvuri, 

 I endured a 72 hour EEG with the idea that afterward I would have some answers about my symptoms and condition.Instead I am left even more confused than before. 

 On our first post-EEG meeting, the doctor said I was having generalized seizures and needed medication. 

We pressed for more information.On the second meeting, Dr. de Jesus completely changed the diagnosis. She said I was having bilateral frontal-temporal...something. She said they were NOT seizures. She also said I could choose whether or not I want medication. 

 When we tried to get more information about my EEG, Jesus said she didn't know how to get that information without the EEG technician, who was currently unavailable. 

 Dr. de Jesus provided no explanations or apologies for why my diagnosis was changed.It seems the doctor was hoping we'd be gaslighted and not notice or be bothered. 

 When I agreed to the EEG,I did so with trust and confidence that a well-trained person would be carefully reading the EEG. From what I am experiencing, this seems to be far from the case. It seems to me that your office is actively looking for gullible people to help reimburse the money paid for the fancy Caldwell equipment. 

This is not okay.It's a scam.It's medical negligence.How many people are being unnecessarily medicated or not being given the medication they need, because your office is not giving the time and expertise that their EEG deserves? How many people are being given unnecessary life-changing labels? 

Here is what I want from you. A) Apologies. I want apologizes for the EEG mistakes. And I want apologies for the fact that my MRI was never received, and no one noticed until I asked about the results. 

 B) I want enough data and information provided so I can seek out a second opinion. I am assuming it will be difficult to have someone read the entire EEG, because it needs special Caldwell software.In lieu of that, then, I would like a detailed report on the EEG sent to either us or the office of the next doctor. I would like this report to have the dates and times of ALL questionable brain activity. I want a list of the times that I pressed the button.I want to make sure that any meaningless artifacts corresponding with my eating diary are excluded. And I would like screenshots/photographs of at least some of these seizures so a second doctor can give me his/her opinion.I have an appointment with a second doctor on August 31. If you do not think you can have this information prior to that, please tell me in the next few days, so I can reschedule the appointment.

 C) I want to know who read my EEG in the first place and how much EEG training they had.Do your doctors consult with their colleagues for a second opinion when they see something suspicious? In other words, what does your office do to guard against mistakes? 

 D) I want a promise that your office is going to make improvements on their EEG policies and procedures. I don't want anyone else to endure the anger and helplessness I am feeling now. 

 Please do not have anyone respond to my email with a phone call. For now on, I want all correspondence between myself and your office to be in writing, so I can save it for my records.

Dina Roberts

Here is the first response from the office manager.

 Dear Ms. Dina Roberts, I am unable to verify you in the system as I cannot find "Dina Roberts". Also, we cannot communicate HIPAA sensitive information via non-secure e-mail. Please call or come to our office to discuss further. 

 Sincerely, Sai Duvvuri 

To be fair to Mr. Duvvuri, from my previous exchanges, they DO seem to have a policy against answering emails. I have emailed them multiple times, and each time my email received a phone call response rather than an email.

HOWEVER, the not-being-able to find me in the system bit? I think it's complete bullshit.  How did they find me in the system the other times I emailed?

I wrote back.

Do you have a my chart system in which we can communicate?

And a bit later.

You should be able to find me under your records as Adina Roberts

In the examining room, there are many signs for the patient to read as they're waiting. One advertised that they had a patient portal thing. So I was asking a question I sort of already knew the answer to.

We didn't know, though, if the sign was up to date. SO Tim called someone. I forgot who—some separate entity. (The powers-that-be) He asked if the clinic has MyChart. They contacted DFW Neurology and it was confirmed that, though, they don't have MyChart specifically, they do have a patient portal.

So there is no reason, we couldn't have a written dialogue rather than a phone or in-person one.  

But it seems now they are trying to wipe their hands clean of me.

Here's the last email I received from the office manager.

Yes, we did. I was also able to verify that this e-mail address was indeed on your chart.

 Coming back to your e-mail, I reviewed the chart and spoke to Dr. de Jesus and the staff. At this point of time, we feel that we did everything we can and cannot do any further nor reply to any of your e-mails.

 We have your MRI report now and can share a copy of that along with your Video EEG CD and the report. To this effect, I have asked our EEG technician to prepare the CD and we will contact you when its ready to pick up along with the MRI report (should be next week but we will confirm).

 We wish you all the best and hope everything works out with the other neurologist.

 Sincerely, Sai Duvvuri

Yeah. That sounds real sincere.

I will match his insincerity with sincerity.

A) I think it's pathetic he couldn't manage to apologize and/or encourage his staff to apologize

B) I hope the clinic loses all their patients and the business fails

One thing I do feel bad for is... personality-wise, I DO like the doctor. I don't think she's a bad person. She seems very sweet. I rarely like doctor's personalities, but I did like hers. Yes, there's the gaslighting, and shame on her for that. But I have this feeling that she's been pressured by the manager not to ever admit mistakes or apologize.

I read a great editorial the other day about doctors and apologizing. I wish the office manager, the doctors, and the staff would read it.


We shall see what happens.

I'll be pleasantly amazed if we are promptly given the CD and MRI report. I do have my doubts.

I'm worried that the CD will be one that can't be read unless the medical center has the same software as the neurologist Hopefully it will still work.

In the meantime, I shall enjoy checking the Google reviews for the neurologist. So far, there are 27 and the average score is 2.5.  Including mine, 16 of the reviews are one-starred.

Some of my favorite quotes from the reviews.

Hands down worst doctor we have seen unprofessional and rude. Also sent us a bill for a $25 dollars for a no show for an appointment that we never made

 Good luck getting a call back. I probably have a better chance of getting in touch with Obama  (LOL. I love that one)

I’ve been calling for 3 months to get my nerve test results and..... I’m always told I will get a call back. No call.

Dr seems nice but doesn’t really listen

Dont go there!!!!! (I wish I had followed that advice!)

Front desk staff never answers the phone or calls you back with results. Avoid this place as you can see with all the other reviews.

If I could give negative stars I would 

The doctor completely had no clue as to a huge side effect of hair loss. When we explained the amounts of hair she was losing the doctor gave no emotion or concern and blew off of how concerned we were. She point blank said she had never heard of that symptom, and that it was not related to the prescription. Not only did we have to do more research and call other sources, we then found out from the state board that the hair loss was in fact a symptom, and is also a permanent one and my girlfriend will continue losing her hair!

Do NOT use this practice!!! I have had a horrible experience with this physician, office and staff from the get go

I wish I had taken these reviews to heart before making the decision to go there. But I had the attitude that beggars can't be choosers, and a not-great neurologist is better than no-neurologist.

But now I believe no-neurologist is better than a bad-neurologist.