BlathrWayne Lorentz

Showing blathrs with the tag “Health.”

Iʼm sure you have some cosmic rationale

Sunday, November 6th, 2022 Alive 18,821 days

The Billy Joel song Pressure is on the radio right now. It reminds me of when this song was in the top 40 on the radio. My friends and I used to love this song because it spoke to us, how we felt and thought, and the pressure we felt in everyday life. Screaming the chorus together was a means of venting our anger and anxiety.

We were eleven.

I canʼt remember what pressure we thought we were under at that age, but how awful is it that at age 11 we even had a concept of pressure and sought coping mechanisms.

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Thanks, politicians

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022 Alive 18,789 days

Obituary from the October 5, 2022 Houston Chronicle

This is a clipping of an obituary that was in the newspaper this morning.

Amazingly, I still see people on the internet who claim that COVID-19 is only dangerous to the elderly, and theyʼve lived long enough and should vacate their homes to make way for new generations.

Selfishness and stupidity seem to go hand-in-hand.

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Do what?

Monday, September 12th, 2022 Alive 18,766 days

This menu is beyond inscrutable.

There's a big push in large healthcare companies to make things easier for patients. It sounds dumb to have to state that, but there has not always been the institutional will to care for patients on their level. But a lot of studies and computer models have shown that something as simple as repeating instructions to a patient can improve the outcomes of treatment in a percentage of people. With so many people in the world now, even a small change can mean enormous savings in money for hospitals, insurance companies, and the patients, themselves.

Unfortunately, we're still at the beginning of the process of bringing the healthcare institutions down to the level of the people they are supposed to serve. The use of regular language and easy methods is spreading, but remains uneven.

To wit: The image above, which is the first question asked when trying to book an imaging appointment with Houston Methodist Hospital.

This is an online form for patients, not doctors. When a regular person phones Methodist to make an imaging appointment, it suggests you use this form to make the appointment online.

I am not a doctor. How am I supposed to know if I need an “MRI 1.5T Wide Bore with Contrast,” or an “MRI 3T without Contrast,”, or a “Fluoroscopy,” or something else? It turns out the type of appointment I need isn't even listed in the options.

As someone who builds healthcare web sites for a living, I understand the technical reasons why this is the way it is. But I also understand that it doesn't have to be this way.

There are people in healthcare who care quite a lot about making things easier, and therefore better, for patients. That caring and understanding rarely pervades and entire organization. But it has to.

What we see here is, in my semi-expert opinion, a breakdown in the chain of caring. Something got outsourced to an external company that doesn't have to care. Someone didn't get trained in the importance of making things easier for the patients, and let this awful thing see the light of day. Some web developer somewhere doesn't have the authority, confidence, or will to question what's been handed to him to produce. He's just there to push buttons and cash a check.

Every person at every level of a healthcare organization not only had to be told to care, but trained to care. Even, and especially, the directors and C-levels. The upper levels are told about how much money can be saved by making healthcare more accessible to ordinary people. But they aren't trained in what that actually looks like, so they are not able to spot mistakes as they're happening, so they can have the people under them correct the problems before they persist and spread. Allowing people to say “That's the way we've always done it” is evidence of a sclerotic organization.

Similarly, and as alluded to above, with the continual outsourcing of functions, you also end up outsourcing caring. Someone pasting together AJAX snippets from StackOverflow in an SalesForce application on the other side of the planet doesn't care that the web site is useless to 90% of users. They've done their job, and that's all their staffing company cares about. It's important to understand that lack of detail and care makes your healthcare company look bad, and it hurts your bottom line by making your treatments less effective, and making your doctors work more.

Everyone in a healthcare organization has to not only care about the patients, but be trained in this. Not just the hands-on people like doctors and nurses and patient liaisons. Everyone. The people who process forms. The people in accounting. And, yes, the I.T. people. Every single person in a healthcare organization affects patients in some way.

To its credit, of the dozens healthcare organizations I've interacted with in dozens of states, Methodist is among the better and more advanced with regard to how it treats its patients. But the process is incomplete.

Healthcare companies talk a lot about caring. But unless there is an ethos of responsibility to the patient that includes every single person in that organization, it's all just marketing.

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Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 Alive 18,733 days

What $18.50 buys at Midway Airport

Big city mayors like to talk about promoting the health and welfare of their people. Then they allow the airport to sell passengers hamburgers for $4.00, while the healthy snacks cost $17.50 plus tax.

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Youʼre not my mom

Friday, October 29th, 2021 Alive 18,448 days

An iPhone telling me that Iʼm unsteady

I think this is Siriʼs passive-aggressive way of telling me Iʼm drunk.

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Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 Alive 18,109 days

We got a notice from the health department that someone in the apartment complex has COVID, but it canʼt tell us who. The next day there was an article in the newspaper that a bunch of the players for the local NHL team have it, too. Some of the players live in this apartment complex because weʼre next door to the practice arena. Which was shut down because of the ʼrona on the same day as the newspaper article.

It doesnʼt take a rocket surgeon to add 1 and 1 and get eleven.

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Om nom nom nom

Friday, October 16th, 2020 Alive 18,070 days

My doctor says that if you have to eat chocolate, dark chocolate covered espresso beans is the way to go. The espresso helps you burn the calories, and the dark chocolate and space taken up by the beans cuts down on the sugar.

If you canʼt trust a Las Vegas doctor, who can you trust?

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Not scary at all

Thursday, October 15th, 2020 Alive 18,069 days

A clipping from the Navajo Times

If arming dinosaurs with massive hypodermic needles makes getting a flu shot less scary for kids, then I guess I donʼt understand kids.

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Saturday, October 10th, 2020 Alive 18,064 days

I wonder if it’s easier to track down the source of food poisoning these days since so many people are constantly taking pictures of their meals.

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Dead Letter Office

Saturday, October 3rd, 2020 Alive 18,057 days

Computer, coffee, cookies — ready to write

When I want to get things off my chest, I bang the words into an old TRS-80 I keep in the closet. I do it in story form.

I’ve found that writing stories is a good way to expend excess mental energy. I’ve written hundreds of stories on that machine. Every month or so, after they’re perfected, I pull out the batteries and the stories disappear forever.

It’s like in the old days when people would write their confessions in letters and throw them in the fireplace, or deliberately mail them to undeliverable addresses.

You used to be able to buy bundles of these letters from the Post Office’s sorting facility’s Dead Letter Office. I don’t think you can anymore. Now they’re probably auctioned off in palettes with other undeliverable to big companies that throw away the letters and sell the wayward packages on Amazon.

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