Silly processes

Hospitals are strange places. I am not completely sure how to deal with them. Are they sacred places where noble people cure ills or are they business houses where I am a customer and expect to be treated like one? Given the way most hospitals are run and the fact that many are listed on stock exchange, I tend towards wanting to be treated like a customer. Well, in either case what’s important is it that it should be easy and simple to run through their various “processes”. If I am a customer, I should get the required attention, and if I am at a place where noble deeds are done to ailing human beings, things should be in such a manner so as to put ailing and emotionally fragile people at ease. Alas, easier said than done.

I need to take my mom to the hospital regularly and I am still struggling to find a way to work through the hospital procedures. So first there is blood test to be done, based on results of which the next step depends. So I need to consult a doctor there. To consult a doctor, I need to first pay the consultation fee (stand in queue) and then give receipt to get a number to be in another queue to see the doctor. Then based on doctor’s prescription, I stand in another queue to get admitted. I need to take the admission paper and give it in the ward. They will then hand me a prescription for medicines that I need to get from the pharmacy. If I need to pay by credit card, I need to go back to the billing counter to get my card swiped. Back to pharmacy and I carry the medicines and other stuff to the day care. Finally the procedure of administering the therapy starts. At the end of the day, the day care hands me a hand written receipt with amount that I need to pay. I first need to get a discharge slip made at one counter, and then make the payment at the other. And on the day of the therapy, the doctor’s consultation fee is considered part of the therapy charges. So in the final billing process, the billing guy will first return my initial payment and then take money for the final payment. Then I need to return a copy of the payment bill to the day care. Finally yet another trip to the pharmacy, billing counter to get my card swiped and back to the pharmacy to get medicines for the coming weeks.

On an average I stand in queues about 8-10 times and spend about two hours before the therapy process actually begins and another one hour or so before I can leave the hospital again. Each time I go, I get frustrated by the back and forth I need to do between various counters and queues. “It is the process” I am told each time I express my irritation. I have never been so frustrated by “process” than when I go the hospital.

In some of my conversations I am told content development involves too many processes. I am sure you have encountered silly mindless process that are completely redundant and make work more difficult. Post your comments here and share your experiences and suggestions. Tell me which processes really make you tear your hair out.