Me: Thank you for calling the medical center. How can I help you?
Referral coordinator: Yes I’m a referral coordinator for [an outside clinic]. We sent an urgent referral for Robert Smith to the X clinic. Why has he not been scheduled yet?
Me: I’d be happy to look into that for you. [verifies patient’s chart and sees the referral. It’s not marked urgent, it was put in the system 3 days ago, and it’s currently ready to schedule.]
Me: It looks like I’ve got scheduling instructions so if you’d like I can certainly schedule the patient now.
RC: If you can schedule now then why did nobody call me earlier to schedule him?!? This is urgent!!!
Me: I don’t see it being marked as urgent but it looks like it was processed quickly for a referral that was marked routine. It looks like the scheduling instructions were posted about an hour ago so it sounds like the clinic hasn’t gotten a chance to call you yet. Would you like me to schedule?
RC: Um… I’ll have to call the patient to find out what his preferences are and call you back. [click] ——- I hate it when people are in such a hurry to schedule and then when I tell them we can schedule they’re not even ready. Maybe try calling your patient to figure out when to schedule him before you call me to flip out that a routine referral isn’t moving fast enough for you.