Isn’t slow internet frustrating?
Several years ago, we had been limping along with slow internet at the office. Even though it bugged me on a daily basis, I knew that the solution would cost additional money and be a painful disruption to a system that was working, albeit not well. In other words, I had learned to tolerate the situation because the pain of changing it was greater than the pain of keeping it. The situation changed when I had to upload a large video file to YouTube a couple of weeks ago. I stared in disbelief when the upload manager estimated that with my current internet speed, it would take over 6 hours to upload a 6 minute video file. Since our plan was to continue to publish more and more video content for our websites, I knew the time had come to make the upgrade. When we committed to the installation of new phone and internet service at the office and it taught me some valuable lessons that relate to the healing process.
I thought that I was being smart to have the install scheduled for a Tuesday morning since we wouldn’t be seeing patients until the afternoon. We would get started around 8:00 am, things would go smoothly and we’d be up and running in about 1 hour.
Well, thinking that things would go smoothly was my first mistake. Even though every time I’ve ever made a change to any component of my business IT network it has caused some level of glitch, I somehow failed to even consider that I should have my IT company and my phone repair company alerted that I may need them today.
I knew we were in trouble when the first thing the installer said was that he never received the work order with the specific items he was supposed to set up. It went downhill from there. The poor guy ran into just about every technical snag possible. When we plugged in the existing phone wires into his new modem it caused the whole thing to short out. He then informed me that because he wasn’t a phone repair guy, he couldn’t troubleshoot the problem and that we were stuck. Then, once we were able to get the new internet modem set up, it wouldn’t connect with my existing network hardware. The signal was good to the building but none of my machines could access the internet. Since his job was only to make sure that the signal got to his modem in the building, he couldn’t help much with this problem either.
Luckily, I was able to call my phone repair guy who happened to be just finishing up a job about 4 blocks away and was able to swing by to fix the phones. As soon as that was solved I had to make a urgent call to my networking specialist to come down to modify the settings and make sure we had all of the wires plugged into the right places in the existing network hardware.
All in all, what I suspected would take 1 hour to complete took closer to four hours and even crossed over into our patient care hours, making it difficult for our team to provide the best service we could to our patients.
As the day finally came to a close, I realized that in many ways, this experience correlates to how my patients feel when they come to see me.
The Human Nervous System
You see, our bodies are amazingly complex information processing networks with thousands of “wires” connecting every organ, gland, tissue and cell. When there is any glitch in the communication wires, there is a decrease in the capacity of the system to work. Just like any breakdown in communication, this leads to inefficiency and poor decision making (in the body we call that dis-ease).
Just like in my case, most of my patients have been tolerating dis-ease and poor performance from their body systems for quite a while before they finally decide that the pain of the problem is worse than the inconvenience of the solution. In addition, virtually every patient tends to minimize the seriousness of their problem. Just like I assumed that the install would take 1 hour, they assume that the “repair” is going to be quick and easy and they are somewhat unprepared for what it will really take to get things back on track.
Just like I did, virtually every patient has already tried tinkering with their system on their own, hoping that the solution would be obvious but they have finally realized that it is too complicated to manage. They finally call in the expert who understands the “settings” and how things are supposed to be connected.
What I had hoped would be a very inexpensive install, ended up requiring me to pay for not one, but two specialists. Luckily, I had created a relationship with these providers before and knew that I could trust them and that they would work hard and take good care of me. That trust is certainly important in the doctor patient relationship as well. We hope that the fact that over 95% of our new patients come from direct referrals from our existing patients means that we are worthy of that trust.
In the end, despite the challenges that popped up along the way, my team of experts were able to restore my information systems and now we’re cruising along at impressive internet speeds. Within a few days, the inconvenience and stress of today will fade into memory and all we will think about are the results of the process. We hope that this is the same with each of our patients. The inconvenience and expense of their time spent repairing their internal “networks” will pale in comparison to their improved outlook on life and the increase in performance from their amazing body.
Until next time, here’s hoping that your Information system is running smoothly with no interruptions in service.