PIPPA - more classy
15 posts • joined 23 Jun 2007
Scan: (as already mentioned) hahahahaha. Never again. Got an email from them once telling me about someone elses warranty repair (and associated charges).
Aria: Also never again. Keen to get your money. Flat refusal to support and receive back. Wasn't worth the time or emotional investment to chase hard, so bought a (<£20) replacement from someone else and will never buy from Aria again.
Misco: had one drive in an array go down. Misco replaced the entire array, which had been bought as part of a system from them, since the originals had been spec'd as matched drives. No direct replacement for failed drive available, so whole new array to maintain matching. Outstanding.
Paris: because she'd understand that customer service doesn't have to suck.
...of biassed surveys and leading questions.
It puts into my mind the equally bullshit and leading question they asked on the ID cards which was something like: "would you support the fight against benefit fraud and id theft (by the introduction of id cards)?". With only the minority carrying out such crime not really wanting these things to be fought, most people answered "yes" which was promptly and incorrectly interpreted as "majority approves of id cards".
Maybe one of us should stand for parliament at the next elections with the message "emigration: the only remaining option".
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not about to defend some of the frankly astronomical costs for using the PatientLine services, but examine how much they've had to spend in order to get the services to the bedside.
Most of the hospitals in this once-great country (and I don't expect much disagreement with this bit) are woefully underfunded, old, and not designed with electronic services to the bedside in mind. Lucky patients get an alarm buzzer for summoning a dis-interested non-english speaking care assistant who can't or won't perform the job being asked. Luckier patients also get a headset for the hospital radio - which even today can sometimes be no more than an air tube to each ear. The technology is perhaps on par with a cheap kids stethoscope.
(Side note: the idea of a bedside phone in one of my local hospitals is a payphone (one per ward) mounted to a wheeled trolly with a damn long extension lead back to the nurses station.)
Given this, the cost to PatientLine of purchasing/leasing and installing all the bedside sets, all the wiring that goes with it, and the central services to drive it, is not a cheap or easy proposition. It is only reasonable that as a business they want to make money from the investment, with the perceived way being to raise prices to what is essentially a captive audience.
Since this approach is clearly going to be a suicidal public relations exercise, causing complaints and investigations, I would hope that it's the last resort. Saddled with big debt from the installations, probably locked into provider contracts with no hint of a reduction in prices if underlying costs fall, with the banks almost certainly getting grumpy, it seems clear that their business models are flawed and that someone needs firing for validating the assumptions.
Possibly the only way out for them now is for the banks to close them down, sell the kit and infrastructure to the highest bidder who can put together a decent business case, and get call costs back down to where they should be.
(Or the government could step in and save another rubbish business - under which circumstances you just know that the health minister would advertise this as major investment in patient services rather than propping up yet another failed enterprise.)
As a side note, and to close, any excuses or rationale which includes (electronic) patient records is lunatic and grasping at straws. Patient records aren't fully in electronic form yet, haven't been fully rolled out, may not even be legal, are way over budget, and perhaps most importantly for this one, contain nothing at all of any relevance to PatientLine.
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