Patients are often confused and surprised that the girls at administration are always asking if their contact details have changed. Patient identification is a top priority at our clinic, as is ensuring that we have up to date contact details such as contact phone numbers, email address and current residential address. Having current details ensures that we can communicate with you in the quickest way possible ensuring that your privacy is maintained in the process.
Keeping Your Medicare Card Details Up To Date
It is vitally important that you inform us if any of your Medicare card details change – this includes a number or name change when someone gets married, for example. Medicare will only process refund checks to the person listed on the Medicare card, so if you have changed your name and informed the clinic of this change, but not changed this with Medicare, this could result in substantial delays in your Medicare refunds, not to mention the need for you to contact Medicare so new cheques, etc can be issued.
It is important that you know Medicare will not discuss a patient’s situation even with the doctor or clinic that provided you with treatment. They will only discuss related issues with the patient themselves – which is why we sometimes have to ask you to contact Medicare to have a cheque cancelled or reissued with a new address. Notifying Medicare and your clinic of ANY changes to your personal situation assist in your rebate cheques and safety net cheques being reimbursed as quickly as possible.
Your Address And Email Details
You may notice that we also regularly check to see if your home or postal address has changed. Having current address details are also extremely important as we need to be assured that the address that we are sometimes sending private and sensitive information to is going to be received by the person it is addressed to. You can be assured, by the way, that our envelopes do not contain any information that would identify that it is coming from one of our IVF clinics.
Home, Work Phone Numbers And Mobiles
Your mobile and other contact numbers are also important. As you will be aware if you have had treatment with us, this is often the primary mode of communication used by your nurse to get in contact with you regarding many things, such as changes to treatment plans, medication start times and when to book your ultrasound scans, as well as the day and time your procedure is scheduled for.
In addition to this, your scientist will communicate with you via phone when reporting fertilisation results, thaw results and extended embryo culture and freeze outcomes. As you can see, having several alternate numbers on which to contact you is vital so that we can speak with you when needed. You can be assured that we will not leave messages on your answering machine that identifies that the caller is from our IVF clinic. Often, if no one is available to take a call a simple message such as “Hi, this is a message for Tom Cruise. Can you please call Naomi Watts from the Buderim clinic.” We also like to have current phone contact details for your partner in case we are unable to contact you and need to urgently.
Photographs And Drivers Licenses For Both Partners
When you register to start treatment with one of our clinics, you will be asked to have a photo taken which will be kept on file and used for additional ID checks when you come to the clinic for procedures. In the background, these photos are kept securely on your personal file and when your file is opened the photo appears so that the nurse, doctor or scientist has another means of ensuring that the correct person is having the scan or here for medication collection. These ‘on file’ photos provide an extra checking layer for our staff, so that we can be assured that we are dealing with the correct patient(s).
We request a copy of your Driver’s licenses, so that we have current contact details for cross checking, as well as a photo id cross check and also a signature on file that we can use to cross check with other documents that you sign, such as consents.
Email Contact Details
As with phone number contact numbers, it is imperative that we have current correct email contact details. Your nurse, with your permission, will often use this mode of communication to connect with you. We totally understand that accessing phones to make a call when at work can be sometimes difficult, but sending a quick email is much easier, so we are happy to provide as many ways of communication as possible, so that you have a number of ways in which you can get in contact with your nurse, the administration team or the scientists.
As with all means of communication, we will regularly check to ensure that these details are current because we need to be confident if we are communicating with you via email that you will be receiving the information.
Asking Your Full Name
You may also notice that the admin, when showing you to a consultation room, ask for your full name. This procedure can be reproduced at several stages during your visit – often with the addition of your date of birth when it comes to nurses performing ultrasound scans or having discussions with our scientists about your gametes or embryos. This provides another identification process to ensure that we are dealing with specific patients – this is even more paramount if the conversation we are having is over the phone and not face to face.
Third Party Contact
You would have noticed on some of our forms and all of our consents that we ask for a Third Party Contact. The reason it is necessary to have a third party contact who is known to you and can be contacted if we are unable to contact you is so that Fertility Solutions can provide adequate health care and treatment to you both now and in the future. The third party can be a family member, friend, work colleague, power of attorney, lawyer, etc. Please note the third party is only contacted if you cannot be reached.
I think you can see by now that we have many layers of checking and double checking to ensure that we are providing patients with information and treatment that is relevant to them.