Friday, March 19, 2010

Are We Getting Dumber?

The University of Virginia Hospital is a huge complex, part of the UVa School of Medicine, and also part of their nursing school... and it is where I travel 250 miles to see specialists in health care not available locally.

When I first started going up there 3 years ago, the parking garage spat out a stiff paper slip with a time stamp on it. Once at the appointed office, someone would rubber-stamp my parking slip, which I gave to the attendant when exiting the garage, and got free parking.

Last fall, the slips had become larger green slips with a magnetic stripe. The offices gave me a pink slip with a magnetic stripe to turn in with the green one for free parking. There was still an attendant, and I assumed some change-over was in process.

The University must have spent millions for the magnetic time-stamp system, and the machines I saw today upon exiting the garage. The machines have a slot to insert the green slip, visually marked, and another slot to insert the pink slip to "pay" the parking... and the gates open.

Only... there is still an attendant, just no longer in the booth. The attendant takes your green slip and inserts it in the machine, then inserts the pink slip in the appropriately marked slot, and the gate bar rises. I asked her why, and her reply was that people couldn't figure out how to do it.

Now I'm no mental giant, but even a 5 year old kid should be competent enough without even being able to read... See the picture of the green slip, magnetic stripe up, and a huge arrow to the slot. Put the green slip in the green slot. Same for the pink slip. Duh.

The University has spent millions for a system we are too dumb to use, and so they must pay for both the system AND the attendants. I wonder what that will add to the cost of my health care? I wonder if that kind of expense is in the fine print of any health-care bill?

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear what you think about my posts! We all learn together.