Mission accomplished! The surgery on my right foot was a success. The operation came on the 45th anniversary (just a day after) Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon. So I felt confident that the universe was with me as I was taking my own giant step.
I am getting excellent medical care. From the surgeon and anesthesiologist to the nurses and hospital staff, they are all superb. I am seeing first hand why everyone praises the American medical system. It doesn’t get better than this. But at the same time I am also seeing flaws and inefficiencies in our healthcare system.
My journey to the operating room involved weeks of travel through a maze of people, paperwork and bureaucracy. I appreciate the importance of accuracy ahead of a major procedure, but the process of gathering that information is so inefficient. The redundancies are mind-boggling. There have been so many people asking the same basic questions. I’ve lost count how many times I have been asked “What’s your name?” “What’s your date of birth?” “Who’s your surgeon?” “What’s the date of surgery?” Over and over. And all the questionnaires are paper forms. It seems so archaic in these days where everyone is using iPhones and iPads. You need money, you use an ATM. You need to travel, you check in on a kiosk at the airport. You need to get in touch with someone, you send a text message. But at the hospital, it’s all about paper and people. I wonder what it would be like if Apple came in to fix this mess. The healthcare industry would probably save billions.
I am sure there are innovators and entrepreneurs working to change our healthcare system for the better. If we could put a man on the moon, we can surely fix this too.