Thursday, November 02, 2006

More On Inefficiency

Responding to a recent posting about having to produce insurance cards multiple times in a hospital whose computers don’t talk to each other, long-time friend Bill Busby forwards the following from Albuquerque:

I don't know how many times the same thing has happened to me.

I'll give you another example: When I go to my PCP's office to pick up a prescription, the issuing clerk writes all of the prescription data on a form for me to sign. The form is printed on NCR (no carbon required) paper. Immediately after I sign the form, the clerk obliterates the entry with a sharpy. When I asked why, she told me that they kept only the carbon so the original was unnecessary.

I received no response when I asked why not get rid of the NCR paper and print the form on ordinary paper which costs less than half what NCR costs. While I recognize that the savings derived from making this simple change will not pay the CEO's salary, it will, none-the-less reduce costs (and clerical time).

And this situation leads me to believe that there must be hundreds of other "small" savings a good business systems analyst could make which would have no effect whatsoever on the quality of the medical care provided by this partnership which includes a hundred or more MDs.

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