For the last couple of years, I’ve been using this metaphor to highlight the ridiculous nature of healthcare and particularly, healthcare billing — the point being, we tolerate ridiculous behaviors and processes in healthcare that we would never tolerate in the rest of our lives, yet we keep building healthcare software that supports the insanity. Why should we tolerate these crazy processes in what is one of — if not the most — important areas of our lives? Let’s at least build software that allows us to move away from these broken processes, even if we don’t have the cultural willpower to do so right away … at least give us the software option to be better, someday.
I used the metaphor again last week in a lecture at HIMSS and several people asked me to blog it, so here you go …
If healthcare managed restaurants:
- You wait 45 minutes for a table, even though you had a reservation.
- You tell the waiter that you’re hungry — but there’s no menu.
- The waiter returns with a meal that he thinks is appropriate for you…but he doesn’t know how much it costs.
- You have no idea what the food is, but you agree to eat it.
- You leave without knowing your bill.
- The restaurant sends the bill to your bank, not you.
- Your bank tells the restaurant, “Your waiter ordered the wrong thing for you. We’re not paying for it.”
- 90 days later, the restaurant calls to tell you that your account is being turned over to collections.
Dale Sanders is also SVP of Healthcare Quality Catalyst