Monday, 2 August 2021
About eight years ago I was diagnosed as having a permanent need for certain medical supplies. I order them on the internet from one of two suppliers depending which items I need next. When I log in and click another order, they contact the GP electronically, the GP sends back a prescription to the supplier and the supplier sends me what I need via one of the national couriers. All very easy and on the whole it works well.
Over the past few months, our GP surgery has been slow sending back the prescription such that there can be a delay of two to three weeks between my internet order and receiving the supplies. Not a huge issue, but every now and then the GP surgery receives a prescription request from supplier A and sends the prescription to supplier B. Supplier A chases the missing prescription and maybe it gets sorted and maybe supplier A has to chase the prescription again. And again.
Today I had to join in the chasing because supplier A was close to giving up. Human error of course. Again not a huge problem, all it required was a phone call, a long wait until one of the lines was free, another wait listening to their zero tolerance policy, another wait listening to a rigmarole about Covid-19 symptoms then finally a real person on the other end of the line, an explanation from me and a few computer clicks at the GP surgery. This is how I know what the problem was. No doubt all will now be well.
Yet it occurs to me that one day the computer system will probably make this kind of error almost impossible by linking things up properly at the GP surgery. The system will work more smoothly and tedious progress chasing will no longer be needed. And the admin side of the GP surgery will have slightly less work to do.
It would be interesting to know how much work is still generated by weak systems and associated glitches. And how many jobs would disappear without it.