Friday, June 15, 2007

Wasting time

There has been a discussion in the pathology forum on DoctorsNet recently about rapid tissue processors and how useful they are. It reminded me of an occasion when I walked into the histopathology department at one of the hospitals in our region and found the corridor filled with empty wooden crates. It was a similar sort of time-saving machine. The senior biomedical scientist told me it had been bought to speed things up in the lab. This seemed a bit strange since the things that slowed down the turnaround time in this department were the volume of work compared to pathologists, the antiquated computer system and the long process of report typing, correction, retyping and authorising. Making the slides come out of the lab faster wouldn’t really help. The senior BMS thought so too. I don’t know who decided this machine would be a good idea but I bet it was expensive, and even if it was cheaper than a new lab software package, an extra consultant, an extra secretary or a good think about how to improve efficiency, it won’t improve turnaround times as much as any of these options.

Who thinks of these ideas?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Shocking email

I got an email from the BMA this week. Periodically I have been getting emails from them in the last few months telling me what they’re doing for junior doctors. Before that I got the occasional email trying to sell me their financial services.

But this week, for the first time, I got an email from the BMA asking me to fill in a survey about what I thought of MMC.


A survey, something the BMA has never, to my knowledge, bothered to do before in the whole MMC/MTAS fiasco. All this time they’ve been ‘representing’ junior doctors and sending me emails telling me what they were doing and now, finally and too late, they’re actually asking what the people they allegedly represent think. Not there’s any guarantee they’ll listen anyway.

Why the hell haven’t they done this earlier?