Consumer experiences + health providers+ modern management + NYC

In the past 6 months , ended up visiting two emergency units in New York City. Ended up visiting few medical specialists, and dentists. So I drafted some of my observations below, I think there are many points to be improved. I used to live in 90s as a school studnet in the city , back then the system was much more organized and efficient and I returned back to NYC area after 20+ years to see the system not as efficient.

One of my eyes lost sight several times during the duration of three days. I thought it was perfectly normal due to high blood pressure result of stress which I had expereinced in the prior days.

My wife insisted on seing a cardiologist. The cardilogis sent me with an ambulance to one of the big hospitals’ ER units. I was sent on a stretcher , I told the ambulance guys I am fine , they insisted I should lay down on the stretcher to go through the check in process quickly. I was puzzled. they were right.

I had to go through registration process. I had to ltereally wait in line. Admission process took 5–10 minutes. After being admitted into ER room that is what happened. Anouncement: “my name, red alert, stroke alert.” I was quite appaled by the idea that 10+ doctors nurses , half of the emergency ward was checking vitals about me. So if I was so much in danger, why did I wait in line? If not , what is all this show? My blood blood pressure went even higher.

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I spent 36 hours on a stretcher, literally! No rooms, no separator curtains. I had to sleep, pushed back and forth in the hallway on a stretcher for 36 some hours. Countless medical imaging technologies, inefficiencies the way information and imaging flows through the hospital information systems to the desks or mobile phones of specialists , differing approaches to the same problem because of different specialist views (normally BTW), and not a definitive procedure (to my understanding as a person with managerial background) for the chorus to decide in harmony. After all this , I ended up being diagnosed with nothing!!! Nothing really. All this stress and all , I had to leave the emergency ward with nada. The modern day information technology tools and procedures and managerial techniques could have shortened the misery time to sub 10 hours for me. All the extra overload in the ER room could have been streamlined into a more civilized environment without the craze, if the modern managerial tools could have been used. It might have produced maybe the same result, but in a shorter and more efficinet way. Without the 5 digit bill , I received afterwards. (Luckily , I had insurance, what if I did not have any?)

ER experiences and other experiences with health care providers make me think : Many MBA schools, people learn marketing mixes, 4 Ps so on and so forth. Hospitals, or health practices in New York did not hear about this principal that the consumer have a right to know the estimated price of services. There is no way of nowing how much anything will cost , and how much and who will bill you for the things you are going through. What happened to free market economy? Anyway let us go back to our ER story after a generic 4Ps comment.

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The rain of bills followed me after I left the ER premises. A sort of thing a joggler can handle. Any body in the ER room , it seems like , have the right to send you a bill and your insurance provider. All these people , medical professionals, have different companies, billing systems, different patient account numbering systems, different call centers, different payment mechanisms. The terminology the insurance company uses and the providers use for the same treatment changes as well. The information about the calculation also varies. It is like a PhD thesis to solve these bills.

I have worked in Telecoms in the past 20 year, before that I was working for a World Bank Project to fix a country’s health financing systems. There are so many easy fixes to make the lives of NYC health consumers pain free.

The immediate reaction from managerial ranks of these institutions could be: “Hospital IT infras are archaic, the consumer info is sensitive.”

Today in 2018, world has so many options and so many quick and long term fixes to deal with the lacking pieces of the puzzle, I think it is a shame not to implement these techniques to make lives of my fellow New Yorkers better.

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Hakan Dulge

Interim & Turnaround CEO - CXO | Digital Transformation | Sales&Marketing Transformation | 8 StartUps | Serial Entrepreneur|Managing Director