• We live in an app world

    This morning I went to our local lab test location to get a blood test done. Normal medical checkup for cholesterol and all that. The first time I went there you had to book the appointment ahead of time, walk up to the desk, tell the receptionist your appointment, they took your health insurance card, any payment, and then entered the testing information into the system. When you got to the technician to collect your blood, they just confirmed your name, information and took the blood (all the while I’m looking straight ahead to not look at the needle).

    The next few times I went, they recommended downloading their app, booking the appointment ahead of time and even checking in for your time slot via the app. The next time I went there was a check in kiosk where you could indicate you were waiting and then when it was your time the receptionist called you to the desk, took your insurance information and entered the testing information into the system.

    Fast forward to today, as my stomach was rumbling (fasting, you know), I walked into the diagnostic lab. Instead of two receptionists greeting us, there were two serve-yourself kiosks. You indicated you were there for an appointment, it asked you to place your drivers license in the scanning slot where it took a picture of the front and back of the license, it then asked you for your insurance card and took a copy of that. You were then called when it was your time and this time the technician was the one that collected the co-pay and entered the needed test into the system.

    My drivers license and medical information is now digitized into computer system. Years ago it would have been a paper copy of my information in a file. There are two less employees and less help for anyone who isn’t computer savvy. If you don’t have a computer to book an appointment, good luck.

    Now mind you, I’m the person who has Amazon Alexa’s in my house so when it’s Christmas time I can say “Alexa, turn on Christmas” and the Tree and all holiday lights go on the house in unison, but even I thought removing the two receptionists and moving their role to two computers is a bit much.

    We may live in an app world, but we still need people. Even if someday computers have artificial intelligence, they will truly never replace people.