+ Reply
Log in or Register to participate in these discussions
Anyone with experience talking to hospital patient relations/experience?
4 Posts
Hi. I was wondering if anyone has had experience with either a hospital’s patient relations/experience department or patient ombudsman. My mother has stage 4 colorectal cancer and recently got assigned a new oncologist while her usual oncologist is on sabbatical. The experience so far with the new oncologist is not great to put it mildly. I had to contact 3 different groups at the hospital over 4 days before her chemo treatment got booked, and it ended up being 2 weeks later than it would have been under her previous oncologist. I feel like I’m being given the runaround. Or am I wrong in thinking oncologists should be putting in a request for an appointment quickly? With her usual oncologist we would see her chemo appointments booked the same day after visits and sometimes before even getting home. Any help is greatly appreciated!
9 Replies
2875 Posts

@1sand0s Hello and welcome from ON! I am sorry to hear of your moms' diagnosis, and your challenges with a “new” Oncologist.

I am also on the Colorectal Cancer “Journey”. I am also in ONT.

I did not have chemo….but I can share that……I am unsure if you/your mom are getting the “run around”…..I dont exactly know how “chemo appts” are booked…..but once mom is in the System, and she has “seen” the new Oncologist….I would assume the Medical Secretary of Oncologist sends info to Medical Oncologist…..there could be delays/backlog/staff shortages……simply so many “reasons” to cause a 2 week delay.

With that being said; please DO continue, to be her Advocate. There should be a Nurse-Navigator at her hospital - reach out to them as well…..at my hospital; there were 2 ! One for Breast Cancer patients…..one for Colo-rectal Cancer patients…..She was on my speed dial! They can “check the system/computer” for times/dates of your moms' upcoming appts…they can even, hopefully, explain “why” this 2 week delay…..was the Dr awaiting some results? Some key info needed, in order to give this info to the Medical Onco?

How is your mom feeling now? Currently receiving chemo?

Let us support you both.

I know of a Virtual Support Group for Colorectal Cancer…..do join us! I will send you more info…..also; the Leader of this support group is a Patient Advocate…and “this” is exactly what she does - get answers/support patients' needs. (She is also in ONT) I will send you this info as well.

Keep sharing….we are all here to listen and support and more.

To reach a member; type “@”screen name, no space after @, select name, turns blue, they receive your message.

Please meet @RBION (Also from ON) Thank you so much, if you could share a bit of your care giving ideas, and more, here (CRC) to connect with our new member who just joined us @1sand0s (Also from ON) a caregiver, to her mom, the patient, with stage 4 CRC…..I am hoping to connect you both - much appreciation.

Let's Connect & Support in ON!

Welcome Again


#caregiving #colorectalcancer

228 Posts

@1sand0s hi and welcome to the site, you should be able to get some info to your questions here as people see your post. My husband was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer 2 ½ yrs ago and he started on a chemo regime a few weeks afterwards. Although we didn't have any complaints about his chemo scheduling, at first it took us a bit to get used to the timing for when we'd see appointments in his my chart. Sometimes MyChart was out of whack and my husband had to make phone calls to verify his appointment times. In the first several weeks, we quickly understood the pattern of knowing his treatments were supposed to happen the day following his blood work and other tests, assuming the results were good. That helped a lot.

About 6 months into his illness another oncologists was brought in but there was no issue with scheduling, delays or lack of information. If your experience hasn't been what you expect, continue to ask questions and raise any concerns with the healthcare team and possibly the ombudsman. You're the best advocate for a loved one.

Wishing you luck. Rbion

4 Posts


Yes, we also settled into a nice pattern with the original oncologist and the wonderful oncology nurse explained the schedule to us with timing of appointments. Hence the surprise of the schedule going out the window 2 years later with a change in oncologist. I’ll continue to follow up. Thanks!

228 Posts

@1sand0s wow 2 yrs into things and then you experienced this change? The care team does their best but I believe sometimes they don't realize how much their “minor” changes affect us emotionally and physically. Let us know how things progress as you work through this. It's difficult and your lives are stressful enough already.

Cynthia Mac
4332 Posts
Hi, 1sand0s‍ , I agree with RBION‍ and Whitelilies‍ - and add that you want to be viewed as a helpful advocate rather than a disturbance to them.

My Dad had two rounds of chemo, with the same oncologist, but there were times when another one stood in while Dad’s doctor was away.

From all I’m hearing, the health care system is slammed right now, and, since you’ve only had this person for what sounds like one treatment, I would document everything you’ve experienced, and have a chat with the oncologist the next time you see them. They might not even know there’s been a delay.

Personally, my questions would include, “Could you find out for us what caused the delay in mom’s last treatment?”

I don’t view a two-week delay for one treatment to be a concern: Dad had to have his chemo postponed a few times because his blood counts hadn’t bounced back enough to sustain the next treatment, so delays do happen. And, the delay you experienced this time could have been a one-off.

If it happens again the next time, then I would speak to the doctor repeating my concern with the first delay and now this one, and be very clear about letting them know at that point that if things don’t improve, I’ll be contacting the hospital administration.

If there’s one thing I learned in my career, it’s better to go through channels rather than go over someone’s head right off the top. That rarely works for the complainant.
11 Posts

When these types situations happened, I spoke with the patient advocate or social worker. They took the stress of having to navigate the system off my hands most times and were able to correct a situation or explain why a delay occured.

4 Posts

Thanks for sharing your experience. I have a call with patient relations this afternoon to get their assistance.

4 Posts

@Cynthia Mac

My mother has had delays in chemo before while we were waiting for her liver enzyme levels to stabilize so delays related to issues like that are not new and are very understandable. Bloodwork comes in before oncologist visits and we were told an appointment was being booked and to check the patient portal for scheduling. Nothing about bloodwork or any other lab results pending.

To clarify, the issue prompting me to “escalate” up to patient relations is that I have asked the oncologist to help explain why there is a delay and they never responded (this is after 4 to 5 days). The rest of the healthcare team all told me that the oncologist needed to put in a request in the system for an appointment, and that they had alerted her of the fact several times. In fact, her own office made the suggestion that I call the triage line when she was planned to be away so I can ask a back-up oncologist instead….

329 Posts

@1sand0s at one point in my mom’s cancer trip I searched for (and found) her oncologist’s email address. I just googled her name. I only emailed her once, maybe twice, and was sure not to abuse it, but she did reply and we got the answer we were looking for. Might be worth a try if this latest attempt doesn’t work.

good luck,


+ Reply