“I will ‘opt out’ of this clinic.”

72 year old.  Feisty.  Out-spoken. 

“I have come to this clinic for years and I like the resident physicians.  I like being a part of their training.  I like helping them prepare for a lifetime of service.”

She took a breath.


Now comes the real story…

“I am not a number, a machine, a computer, a walking internet.  I am a human and I want human interaction.  I do not want to have internet do my life.  I hate it!”

Her blood pressure was now 170/90 and rising. 

“I am a sane person dealing with an insane system, cobbled together by bean-counters who never come to a clinic and see what their messed up computer programs due to people like me.”

Hypertensive urgency taking over.

She was ranting about an untried, poorly designed, poorly rolled-out computer program for patient/clinic interface.  She was sharing what others in the clinic were feeling (watched the nodding heads) as she tiraded all over the waiting room.

“I have had the same address, the same phone number, the same insurance company, and the same gender for many years.  Why am I forced to repeat the same things at every visit for the last twelve visits.  I am fed up.”

The front desk staff, never trained on the program before it went live, were in agreement.  The nurses, never trained before it went live, were in agreement.  The physicians, never trained before it went live, were in agreement. 

“You want abnormal blood pressures so that you have something to treat?  Keep this kind of computer-generated, patient-ignoring system going.  You want us to find a new place to receive care, keep up this machine-centered stupidity going.”

The waiting room nearly exploded in cheers and hurrahs and “Amens”.  The patient-centered rival arrived.  Turn off the machines, the phones, the pads, the laptops, the notebooks, the games, pixels, and search engines.  Look at the person in front of you, eye-to-eye…and live.