You see things differently when you’re about to die…
A few months ago, during one of my business trips to Portugal, I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my chest.
Now, you can imagine the feeling… Ahhh! I’m having a heart attack!!
The last thing you would like is to die in a hotel thousands of miles from home…
Right! I said to myself. Let’s go to the hospital and get checked out.
I usually keep away from doctors, medicine and hospitals – you live longer that way…
I wasn’t looking forward to going to hospital.
The health care in the UK is bureaucratic, the service is atrocious, the nurses are lazy, but the doctors are excellent.
The main problem with the NHS is the administration. The system is good. The management is bad.
I followed the US Healthcare debate with quite a bit of amazement.
We see it as a basic right. The Americans see it as a prerogative.
So for the American readers… let me just explain what a hospital is…
Anyway, I arrived at the hospital and checked in.
I was there for 2 hours… I wasn’t waiting for 2 hours… I was being checked for the whole 2 hours: Ultrasound, cardio, x-ray.. you name it, I got it.
In the end, the doctor sat me down, and told me the dramatic news….: Nothing…
Really nothing… maybe you slept with the air conditioning on… your heart is in great shape… really.
I felt like a real plonker.. I thanked him, and apologised for wasting his time.
“Not a problem” he replied. “It gave me a chance to practice my English…”
Now the real reason for this whole story is to highlight an observation there that I’ve been thinking about ever since.
During my stay at the hospital I was transferred from department to department. From one doctor to another. Each doing a specific test.
Every transfer included a proper handover procedure.
Doctor 1 explained to Doctor 2 who I was, what was the health concern, what was tested, what was planned.
It’s a very efficient system. They spend 3 minutes doing an official hand-over.
Doctor 2 is then responsible for my health and well being. The clock starts ticking.
Compare it to business procedures.
Think of the call centres. The good ones have a hand-over procedure. If they need to pass you to another department, they stay on the line and explain to the next person who the customer is, what the complaint is about.
The bad call centres ask you again and again for your name, postcode and password every time you get passed to another department.
BPM is no different.
A good process has a good hand-over procedure. Audit-trail, history, previous task view, next task view…etc..
Maybe we could we learn a lesson from the doctors…
Enjoy your weekend