Wednesday, July 25, 2012

High Tech Waiting Rooms

Dr. Sanjay Gupta and another CNN Health Channel host entertain and inform
Okay, I've been to the doctor a lot more recently than I would have cared to.  However, recent changes to waiting rooms all over the Southland are making this a more interesting event.

My hospital has long had high tech entertainment in their waiting rooms.  I was surprised, however, to find it in my General Practioner's office recently.  My primary doctor has come into the 21st century, and it's both charming and alarming.

Charming, in that it helps to pass the time.  I took the above photo while waiting to see the doctor for a recent appointment.  Instead of staring at the other patients or reading a months old magazine, I was able to watch an informative piece of journalism about diabetes care which even featured recipes tips and demonstrations.

Alarming, in that you can't escape the slick video magazine even if you want to!  I don't always want to hear/see health news, particularly when it features stories that make me feel slightly uncomfortable.  Also, what good is it to show me cooking demonstrations in a waiting room?  I'm not going to be engaged enough to start taking notes, as I'm nervously waiting my turn to be poked and prodded by a medical professional.

Also alarming in that I'm obviously somehow paying for all of this technology.  My office visit HMO co-pay has recently risen to $30 a visit, which just seems exorbitant.  I feel like, between losing pay for taking time off work and the costs of seeing a physician, I can literally no longer afford to be sick!

I fear recent federal legislation will continue to drive those costs upwards for ol' middle-class me, while 83 percent of physicians surveyed say the new Affordable Health Care act makes them think about quitting!
 (See "Is your doctor going to quit because of Obamacare?", on article from 7/10/12)

So, what do you think?

I guess there are no easy answers, and I do like being entertained in the waiting room.  I just hope my doctor hangs in there.  I like her.

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