• Follow Up to “Your time is Worth Nothing”

    After my day at the hospital I wrote the post called “Your time is Worth Nothing” according to the Medical Professionals.   I did contact the hospital by email pointing them to the post.  The next day I was contacted by a representative of the hospital, who apologized for the wait that my wife and I experienced.  I thought it was nice of the hospital to do this, and I thanked their representative.

     I did tell her that I was not upset with the hospital or the doctor.  The problem is with “the system.”  I told her that somebody has to recognize the system is not working properly and attempt to fix it.  The representative was glad that we were not mad, however my sense was that it was this person’s job or responsibility to call people who are mad and try to make them feel better.

     So the problem will continue…

  • “Your Time is Worth Nothing…” according to the Medical Professionals

    The anesthesiologist consulting with my wife.

    Yesterday I spent nine and one half hours at the hospital with my wife. She had a surgical procedure performed on her hip.  With my wife in surgery, the surgeon told me the process would take 45 to 60 minutes.  In reality the surgical process took just about 50 minutes, so he knew exactly what he was talking about. So my question is this why did my wife and I have to spend nine and one half hours at the hospital for her to have a 50 minute procedure performed?

     I would like to say this up front.  The surgeon did a great job, and communicated well with me and my wife.  The hospital staff was kind, caring and did the best that they could. I am not mad or upset with their delivery of services, it just seems awfully inefficient and frustrating to all parties involved.

     The story is this.  My wife was told to arrive at 6:30 a.m.  We arrived at 6:20 a.m.  We were greeted nicely and directed to surgery on the third floor.  We arrive there and my wife was assigned a room and told to put on the gown, and stretch out on the bed. As we were getting ready to leave the counter, we were told by the staff there would be a delay as the surgeon had been called over to another hospital on an emergency case. The length of the delay… unknown.  We noticed there were two other cases scheduled in front of my wife.

     Later we were told that the surgeon was “on call” and that is why he had to leave.  For the purposes of the story let’s stop here. 

     The surgeon is scheduled to do surgery at one location, while with his “on call status” he may be called away to another location, on a more pressing matter.   Ok, so in my world if something can go wrong it usually does. If I look at this objectively, I am potentially scheduling the surgeon to be in two places at one time, ergo someone or a group of people is going to be waiting.  In addition to the patients and their loved ones left waiting, there is the stress of the situation, as well as any time away from work, or fees paid to babysitters etc or any other things that must be taken care of while awaiting doctors.

     Further, if I am running surgical location #1 while the surgeon is called away to surgical location #2 – I have a staff of highly paid professionals who are at the beckon call of the surgeon, but doing nothing.  (In manufacturing we call this down time – and it is a drain to the bottom line.)

     So patients, families, employees and support staff and other all wait at location #1. I understand how certain cases take precedence sometimes, but no attempt is made to adjust, contact or communicate with the rest of the people in this equation.  It is tantamount to sitting in a physician’s waiting room for hours on end not know if or when you will see the doctor.

     With the communication technologies in place today, it would certainly seem to me that improvements could be made to this process. However, someone has to see this as a problem first. If no one will admit this is a problem, we will continue with the status quo. I have read about specific health care facilities that have decided to make customer service a priority and work hard to meet scheduling expectations.

     My time and my wife’s time have value too, however given the hubris from those in the medical services industry, medical services interests’ trumps individual concerns.  Until we start purchasing medical services like any other commodity it does not appear to me that anything will change. To do so, all it requires is for your provider to answer these questions.

     When will we do this, when will we be done and how much will it cost? 

    Would  you buy anything else without knowing this?

  • Holiday Wishes….

    After seeing all of the holiday wishes that went back and forth to folks on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I was thinking to myself, boy there are going to be a lot of holiday wishes being sent back and forth on twitter on Friday (#FF) December 24.  So I thought I would take some of my blog space to, create my own Holiday Greeting Card, and wish all of my friends in real life (IRL) and out here in cyber space a Merry Christmas.  At our house we celebrate the Christian holiday.  This is not to offend anyone, it is just what my family does.

    So from the inside of the HROffical’s home — a.k.a. @DaveTheHRCzar …  Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Best Wishes for a Joyous and Happy New Year.  Dave

  • Project Social Green HR Making Money

    Project Social continues to turns green and rolls on.  This week Laura and I discussed greening of HR and how to interest people in making HR more accountable for Green issues.   For those of us in the private sector we find profit margin most rewarding.  How can green make money for our Company? Another way to look at that is ([Current Cost] – [Improved Process}=> 0) = PROFIT. Profit, this is the main reason American business recycle is because there is economic gain to be had.  We are Capitalists. 

    Having said that let me carve out exclusion, some businesses recycle because it is the right thing to do.  Not for Profits may recycle because it is the right thing to do, but they too should be or are looking for economic gain out of recycling.  How can an HR department get something like this going? Well paper is a pretty easy target for the gain formula, while some of the other landfill destined items are a little more challenging.   Paper may require some handling or storage but it usually work easily if you are looking for the old ROI.

    This compactor creates 1000 lb bales of used paper.

    And remember if it is cheaper to dispose of via an alternate means than sending it off to the old dump, it is still a winner and a green alternative. This is another winner for the HR leader looking to do a little green HR.

    Through our discussion on the issues Laura has enlightened me as to how in most European countries there are significant regulations mandating Green Initiatives as well as tax incentives to reward those compliant businesses. While I am not a tax expert it would seem to me that if the U.S. government would make more Green initiatives more financially rewarding, businesses would  rapidly move in that direction.

    Over the years we have seen how tax law drives investment in and out of different areas.  Europe has already figured this formula out [New Tax incentive] + [New investment] = Innovation.

    So Congress needs to come up with the tax rewards for business – or the mandates to bring  green change to business!

  • Project Social – Green Jobs

    Project Social and Green Jobs… That’s my assignment.  Laura, my project social partner and I are working on learning more about green jobs and how HR is dealing with this.  Since Laura is obviously the brighter of the two of us (I let people shoot hockey pucks at me) she kind of took the high road on this.  Laura is looking renewable energy credits and jobs in green tech. I on the other hand, with a background in manufacturing and distribution, am let’s say may be a bit earthier wanted to look more to the trenches of recycling. 

    I wanted to see where this whole process of Green/recycling begins. For more than three years I have been doing my part and taking my paper, metal and most plastic out of my waste stream and putting in my blue recycling bin.   For a nominal fee, I set this container at the end of my driveway every week and poof there you have it, I am recycling. This seems pretty simple to me.  Have you ever wonder what happens next? Mind you all of my stuff goes in one bin and then into one truck.  So when the truck gets full they take it to the center dump it into the giant recycling machine and it comes out the other end, not quite.

     This is what happens.


    I  was originally going to shoot my own video of this, but later found out the material in my town is shipped elsewhere for sorting; so thanks to my Youtube friend pipmossop for the use of this video. 

    Those of us in manufacturing would like to automate everything, because we know that you only have employment issues – if you have employees.  But some tasks are better left to the human hands, eyes and brain. So, there are going to have to be a lot of jobs like the sorters to continue to make recycling viable.  It is going to be Human Resources’ challenge to turn these into good jobs. Let’s be honest, the sorting of garbage is a likely candidate for Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs.

    We need to view all of the folks who are working in the recycling stream as ecological soldiers, saving the planet from all of the people who live here. It is through these types of practice we can reduce the number of Garbage Mountains that are dotting our landscape all over the country.   I will be visiting my nearest sorting center and find out just what it is that they do, in  order to motivate thier workforce and keep good people in a job that might be viewed as undesireable by many – perhaps a challenge that many of us face daily!