Archive | February 2016

Self-Service Hospitals

Muriel-7

photo by Timothy Spark       

Just had a bone scan at one of our local hospitals the other day. I was there by 9 a.m. (on time) and was done and ready to leave at about 3:30 p.m. They were busy. I waited, and waited, and waited, and then — I was bored out of my mind. After all that waiting, it seemed a simple matter of the technician pressing the right buttons and the machine doing it’s job on it’s own. Interesting….

There was plenty of time for me to think while I waited, especially after I finished my book. I’ve now got a solution for some of the financial costs and delays and crowding within our medical facilities, ‘Self-Service Hospitals’ (SSH). This could increase efficiency and save money for us all. While the idea may sound somewhat revolutionary, it is entirely possible in this age of fantastic medical computer programs.

To begin with, most doctors, interns and nurses could be dismissed; diagnostic testing procedures and pathology laboratories can be eliminated (machines can do it) and cleaning staff can be greatly reduced. What savings!

man with broken leg

It should be easy to make your own cast

Don’t worry. With my brilliant idea, hospitals can remain open for business 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The best part is that the only staff necessary are a couple of admissions clerks, who have access to the Internet and the very clever people at Google. Everything else being automated. Just think of it.

#2 Viagra vending machine

Viagra vending machine

Upon admission, a brief clinical history of the patient and the symptoms causing concern are fed into the medical computer. It spits out an immediate diagnosis and the recommended treatment. If medications are required, you place the proper amount of coins into the slot and your prescriptions are dispensed immediately — no need to go to the pharmacy. They are delivered prepackaged via the ‘Automated Pharmaceutical System (APS), and the patient is merrily on the way home with medications and instructions on how to get well.

30-brain-vending-machine

Need a body part? Purchase it here.

For instance, you arrive at the ‘Self-service hospital’ (SSH) with severe abdominal pain and the diagnosis is appendicitis (APC). The computer recommends an appendectomy, which, in keeping with the facility’s policy, can easily be performed by you. Whenever a surgical procedure is indicated, you deposit the cost in the slot, and out comes a tray with all the necessary instruments and supplies, such as gloves, scalpel, sponges, etc. Need an operating table? Deposit the required coins and out it slides. Need a new body part? Select the proper vending machine.

The best part about this system is that if our politicians still deem more income necessary, automated coin-operated mechanisms can easily be installed to bring in heaps of dough. A wheelchair, for instance, can have a slot for a $2 coin, the elevator can be operated by depositing some money too — depending on how high you wish to go, and a looney can release the lock on the operating room door. Instructions for the surgical procedure pop up on a screen within for $5. Then, since we all like to make our own decisions, we can choose from  the various anesthetics available. Any child can manage it.

old lady in wheelchair

A wheelchair can have a slot for a $2 coin

P.S. I think they’d do well not to give me so much time to think up such brilliant ideas the next time I visit a hospital.

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A morning’s chat at the cafe

Muriel-8

photo by Susan Kauffmann

During the years I’ve breakfasted out, I’ve met a few characters. I find it interesting to hear what they have to say. Murray is one of these. He’d been to see his kids, yet seemed in a somber mood, so I asked if something was wrong.

‘I’ve been reading about elder abuse,’ he told me. ‘And I realize I’m being assaulted by my children. It’s devastating.’

‘What are you talking about?’ Your kids are lovely and wouldn’t assault anyone.’

‘Well, ‘assault’ may be the wrong word, but I almost fell over the

Toys on floor with little girl

I could have broken every bone in my body

baby’s stuffed dog lying right in the middle of the floor. Are you telling me it wasn’t on purpose? I could have broken every bone in my body.’

‘Murray, you don’t look where you’re going. That’s not Dorothy’s fault. YOU need to be more careful.’

‘She knows perfectly well I don’t look where I’m going. She should have moved it. Why didn’t she, Huh? I’ll tell you why….’

‘Come on Murray,’ I interrupted, ‘that’s ridiculous. You’re not a baby and Dorothy has a little one of her own to take care of. She shouldn’t have to worry about you too.’

‘Go ahead,’ he was petulant, ‘take her part. Who’s friend are you anyway?’

‘I’m your friend,’ I tried to calm him, ‘and I don’t want you running around with crazy notions about your children trying to hurt you.’

‘Oh, yeah! Trying to?’ his voice raised an octave, ‘What about that stupid electronic stuff they bought me for Christmas? I nearly poked my eyes out when I leaned over to read those buttons, and when I pushed the wrong one, the darn thing hit me right in the face. They know I don’t see well and don’t know how to use those contraptions. They did it on purpose I tell you!’

guy on phone

They know I don’t know how to use those contraptions

‘Oh Murray. It’s always a challenge to adjust to new technology and it’s good for us. You’ll enjoy it when you get used to it and you love music…..’

‘Sure, sure,’ he hadn’t heard me at all, ‘I tell you. Alex and Dorothy together…’

I couldn’t listen to this any longer and interrupted again.
‘Alex and Dorothy??? I think you’re really losing it. They wouldn’t hurt a fly!’

‘Maybe not a fly,’ Murray continued, ‘why should they hurt a fly? Their sick old father is another matter.’

‘What do mean ‘sick’? Are you sick? I always thought you were as healthy as a horse.’

Murray was on a roll. He wasn’t hearing me. He gets like that sometimes.

16388963-angry-mafia suitcase money

They want my money a few years earlier

‘They’re out to get me,’ he wailed, ‘they want my money a few years earlier. How long do I have anyway?’

‘C’mon, Murray,’ I sighed, ‘what did they really ever do to hurt you?’ He thought for a moment.

‘Aha! Alex bought me that Exercycle, that’s what.’

‘Exercise is good for you,’ I was at my wits end, ‘he got you the best bike money could buy. How can you possibly find fault with that?’

619-racing hosp hallway

I may need a heart transplant

‘I get a cramp in my left leg every time I use the stupid thing. Note, my LEFT leg, I want you to know that’s the one closest to the heart. It’s working its way up to my chest a little each time I use it. Soon I’ll need a pacemaker, then a bypass, maybe even a heart transplant, who knows? I won’t survive that Exercycle and Alex knows it — he figured it all out in that little brain of his. What have I done to deserve this in my old age? I’ll sue them.’

‘Sue? Are you nuts? Where do you think you’ll find a lawyer who’ll take on such a crazy case?’

‘Oh, yeah,’ he responded, ‘I hear Joe is going to sue his grandson for aggravated assault.’

‘What? How old is the kid?’

‘Eighteen months,’ Murray said, ‘ he gave Joe a Charley horse bouncing on his knees.’

It was time for me to go home.

**Note: I recognize elder abuse is a serious problem, but Murray obviously had it wrong.