Updated: Oct 11, 2021
Uli K. Chettipally, MD., MPH. Physician Innovator, Technology Enabled Care
A polite voice over the hotel phone said.
“25 minutes?!”, I thought to myself.
After all, I booked the highest rated hotel in town. And the room rate (and the pot of coffee) is not cheap either. I know it will be cold by the time it comes to my room on the 16th floor.
As I drove towards it, this hotel looked like it must have hosted a few Presidents in the past. I get this weird feeling of discomfort when I see the valet parking sign and well-dressed young men ready to park my car. I don’t want to look cheap by parking the car myself, but I don’t want to look like a snob to have someone else park my car in the parking lot that is just 100 feet away! But, I digress.
Coming to the coffee part - I am used to making my own coffee, to my liking, fresh and hot in the coffee maker in the hotel room. It’s hot, takes only 5 minutes and it’s free!
In healthcare (you knew I would go there), here in the US, we have some of the best technologies and services compared to anywhere in the world. Our physicians and nurses are super specialized. Our facilities are impeccable. Some of the campuses are created to look like resorts with beautiful environments.
Then why do our patients feel this uneasiness when they come to us for care? Why do they have distrust at the back of their mind? Many of them avoid using their healthcare benefits for the fear of being hit with a big bill!
Are we providing them with expensive and slow service at our hospitals and clinics with poor patient satisfaction and outcomes? Can we provide them with self-service options where it is convenient, fast and doesn’t cost them an arm and a leg?
A prescription pharmacy in a vending machine!
By the way, do you prefer to make your own coffee or do you want someone else to make it for you?
PS. Starbucks is the wrong answer!