• Tuesday is Pray for Paul Day

    There are not a lot of people that I have met in my life that I could go back and tag the day – and say BAM June 15, 2007 is the day I met George, but with Paul Hebert, I can do that – and it is weird.  I met Paul Hebert on Friday May 7, 2010 in the lobby bar of  theWit Hotel in Chicago. I walked into the bar and from the back side I saw this fellow with a black sport coat and this thing (pictured to the left)I2ILogoon the back of it.   Unbeknownst to me at the time was this, the guy was hawking his brand. My visit to the bar was to meet some people face to face, people that I had met on twitter. This was the night before HREvolution 2010.

    I like “some” of you often find myself gravitating toward the bar at conferences and out of town events.  It’s not because of my drinking problem, the reason  I do so is because that’s where you meet all of the cool people. At the time, I was in the company of my good friend and ILSHRM cohort John Jorgensen.   In short order, John and I met Paul, along with John Nykolaiszyn, Ruth Estwick, Chris Frede and I think Steve Boese. And for some reason unknown to me there are even more details. I ordered a beer Arrogant Bastardfrom the bar’s very diverse collection. I had an Arrogant Bastard Ale. I shared this with the group – only because it was soooo nasty!  So to come full circle this was my first meeting of Paul. How many other people can you recall that vividly of when you first met them?

    Going forward, I have had the pleasure of getting to hang out with Paul and to get to know him much better at a number of different events.  I consider him to be a good friend. He is a really sharp guy. He is a great presenter as well, not to mention just an all around good guy. Paul is going through some tough times in his personal life. Paul has cancer.  Paul also has a blog about his cancer and his cancer treatment.

    In a strange but comforting way I got an email from him announcing this situation.  I have followed it very closely as I do care about him, and hope that his will kick this cancer’s ass.  In one of his recent post, when Paul announced that a date to do surgery had been moved up, he said, he was not too proud to ask for people to think of him, send positive vibes his way, or to pray for him.

    PaulHebertWell I want to echo that sentiment, to anyone who will listen.  Tomorrow (Jan 15, 2013) is Paul’s day for surgery. I am calling it Pray for Paul Tuesday. I am asking anyone who reads this to put Paul in your prayers, your thoughts, your zen message of the day – however you send out positive vibes, do it tomorrow.

    Best of luck Paul, I know you are gonna be just fine.


  • “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?