Saturday, October 10, 2009
Yesterday I acted like a responsible citizen and got the first flu shot I've ever had. I wandered into my HMO (Kaiser) to help a friend pick up her meds. Half the lobby was occupied by a single clerk behind a desk swiping patient record cards, a security guy directing traffic, and four nurses swabbing and sticking arms. No appointment required; the whole thing took less than two minutes.
I wouldn't have bothered to get the shot if it had been any more complicated -- if, for example, I'd had to call and make an appointment. The combination of the HMO's decision to invest in snagging all visitors easily and a good database that substituted for any paper record keeping made this little exercise in socially useful prevention work for me.
Maybe reform in how medical care is delivered and some good computerization might indeed not only be cheaper -- but also make us healthier.