Pre digital

A brief visit to the emergency room last month reminded me of what an organization that's pre-digital is like. Six people doing bureaucratic tasks and screening that are artifacts of a paper universe, all in the service of one doctor (and the need to get paid and not get sued). A 90-minute experience so we could see a doctor for ninety seconds.

Wasteful and even dangerous.

Imagine what this is like in a fully digital environment instead. Of course, they'd know everything about your medical history and payment ability from a quick ID scan at the entrance. And you'd know the doctor's availability before you even walked in, and you would have been shuttled to the urgent care center down the street if there was an uneven load this early in the morning. No questions to guess at the answer (last tetanus shot? Allergies to medications?) because the answers would be known. The drive to the pharmacy might be eliminated, or perhaps the waiting time would be shortened. If this accident or illness is trending, effecting more of the population, we'd know that right away and be able to prevent more of it… Triage would be more efficient as well. The entire process might take ten minutes, with a far better outcome.

School is pre-digital. Elections. Most of what you do in your job. Even shopping. The vestiges of a reliance on geography, lack of information, poor interpersonal connections and group connection (all hallmarks of the pre-digital age) are everywhere.

Perhaps the most critical thing you can say of a typical institution: "That place is pre-digital."

All a way of saying that this is just the beginning, the very beginning, of the transformation of our lives.