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11/18/08 / Unc

3:02 PM I just returned from a Kaiser Permanente facility, and that place is run like a well-oiled machine, from top to bottom, left to right.  From their hospital and ER to the local clinic and pharmacy, everything is spectacularly clean, everyone is supremely friendly, and the service is efficient like the engine of a Honda Civic.

For example:

  • You can fill out a prescription refill online and it’s ready in 15 minutes.  There’s an electronic board in the comfortable pharmacy waiting area where your name shows up when your prescription’s ready, so you don’t have to fidget around wondering or repeatedly ask them.
  • When a pharmacist from behind the glass wall sees that you’re left unattended (because the clerk helping you went to assist another clerk who had a question), she asks "Have you been helped?"
  • On the side is an electronic filing machine that holds prescriptions.  They flick a switch and a new row of prescriptions rolls down while the one at the bottom rolls out of sight, like a rolodex.
  • You go in for an out-patient routine surgery, and when they tell you it’ll be about an hour to 1.5 hours, they have you out and ready to go in 45 minutes.

All the equipment is in pristine condition, from the medical gadgets down to the chairs and doors of the facility.  There are no waiting lines anywhere (except maybe 4-5 people waiting for their prescriptions).

It’s simply amazing to watch, such efficiency operating at such a large scale.  For those lucky enough to have it, this seems like private healthcare done right.

2:13 PM In light of the ubiquitous presence of Facebook, Twitter, FriendsFeed and the like, I’d like to take a moment and think of all the unconnected people out there – not in other countries but right here in America.

Picture what they look like, what they’re doing right now, what they’re doing when we’re on Facebook and Twitter.  I wonder if they even know what Facebook and Twitter are.  Maybe some of them don’t even have e-mail or Internet (<-apparently Internet is properly spelled with a capital I) access.

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