Mark Goldberg

Wringing efficiencies from improved e-Health

Sometimes, you just have to shake your head at the inefficiencies that plague our health care system.

My wife’s doctor called, asking her to get one of her blood tests redone. They asked her to stop by the office to pick up a lab order to take to the lab. I suggested that she call them back to ask if they could fax the form to us to save a trip. The receptionist said “the form is here for you to pick-up.” After a few rounds of “yes, but could you fax it to me”, my wife made the 45 minute round trip, only to be told (by a different receptionist) that yes, it could have been faxed. That would have been better for the environment, less stress for my wife driving in rush hour traffic and more time with visiting grandchildren.

Faxing the lab order would have given my wife the benefit of 35-40 year old technology.

Of course, one might ask why we need paper at all. Why isn’t there a digital requisition sent from the doctor to the lab of our choice?

Gigabit internet access to every home isn’t going to improve the efficiency of health care delivery if we can’t get basic processes moved online.

I continue to wonder if the people in charge use the same abusive processes that we regular folks endure.

Maybe our grand e-Health strategy is trying to do too much at once. Like I have said before about smart cities, “Building a smart city means creating a culture that works to make the community a little bit smarter every day.”

There are huge opportunities for cost savings and improved accuracy if we can commit to fixing one silly paper process at a time.

Comments are closed.