Medical tourism

The great indian medical boom story continued in the small world of dentists and freshly minted MBAs. (Thats shubhangi and me btw) It was a different form of medical tourism that me and my better half embarked upon.
The opening show consisted of a dental checkup of my painful molar(number 16) at 6:30pm.
15 minutes later they asked me to return for a root canal treatment at 7:45pm. How would two young people of today spend this time in a clinic full of medical specialists? “Lets go check out the ENT dude”. 15 mins with the ENT dude presenting 101 ways in which I could get a heart attack. 15 minutes of window shopping at the physiotherapist . 15 minutes of checking out the latest preventive vaccine for cervical cancer. And we were good to go for the “procedure”. Pictures speak a thousand words. Below are my 10k words of grudge on a royal drain of cash.

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The magic of Android

Well it took 2 years and an excellent piece of software to get me back to my blog. The software I am referring to is the Swipekey software on android. Beautiful tool and perfectly responsive to your typing.  Intuitive and fast.
I feel as if I am typing as I think because the lag time on this thing is miniscule.  Oh!  How much I love this wave of technical advancement. It’s almost as if everything is so easily possible.  Love this era.
Hmm….  I will definitely be back to this blog,  now that I have this tab of  mine and a great tool to play around with.
FYI,  I am on this new project where I am Mr operations now. Will be posting stuff on project management and operational efficiency improvement.

Catch you later!

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Scrat: The man in love…the love in man

There is something about the absolute torture of being in love that tears a man into two dynamic components ever so distinctively:  The strategically hopping cynic and the passionately pursuing Scrat.

It is a race that is timed against the reverberating rhythms of the heart. The drum-roll so loud that it obliterates all sound of external reasoning, thus leaving man to his own devices. The brain and the heart. The cynic and Scrat.

Scrat begins cautiously: assessing threats and the merits behind chase for his acorn. The cynic lingers back, amused at the antics of Scrat. It is this momentary calm-before the storm that allows Scrat to get a whiff of its acorn. The moment that an object of amusement starts transforming into the mythical prized possession that could change all for Scrat. That would be everything that he ever wanted.

Until, the flirtatious acorn begins its roll down a spiraling road of roses and bruises.

Pursuit starts with a gentle jog. Scrat can still see the rosy road ahead. Scrat can still feel his legs thump every time he deals with a treacherous stumbling block. He marshals on…the acorn is his shining beacon that is to light the way. Plus it is all too close. A hesitant reach of hand away. Ah! The small hesitation is to set the race on.

For now, the acorn has gained speed. Scrat scampers away to get a hold of it again. Lo! a gentle bump of the road pushes it into his hands nearly. Bah! it’s out again. And now , all that ever mattered is the acorn. The feet hurt no more. The bumps scare no more. All Scrat hears is the ubiquitous drum-roll. Until…the road evens out to signal and end to the pursuit?

Crash!! comes thundering down the cynic. In one swift and ruthless jump it has overtaken Scrat to push the acorn away further. More so, Scrat is left reeling and trailing behind this new adversary. The race has now assumed battle proportions.

The drum-roll rises in tempo as the acorn flies further down the ever-twisting path.  The scamper is now a fully-fledged run. The cynic brings down rocks on his path with his mighty blows. It jumps ahead of Scrat to connive deceiving ends. Oh the cynic is a mighty opponent. Silent in planning and deadly in execution. But Scrat can see none of it. For all it cares for is the slithering away acorn. The acorn which is all that divine can ever be. The acorn that has transmogrified into an obsessive fixation transcending all emotions that were ever known to Scrat.

Why wouldn’t the acorn slow itself down for a bit ? Why wouldn’t it just jump itself right into his hands?

Pretty soon. The drum-roll has filled the skies. The once-united cynic and Scrat are completely different bodies now. Each pulling the race to their end before giving in to the efforts of the other. The acorn occupies all their efforts. The cynic can see everything around the acorn to help achieve its purpose. Scrat can see nothing beyond the acorn. The acorn is his purpose.

Now…the race is just a noisy regular affair which just might exist till eternity. The acorn, however, seems to be silent about it. Is it just an object that requires pursuit? Is it ever destined to run into the hands of Scrat? Or is headed towards a goal of its own, marooning Scrat to the pain of capitulation before the cynic…or worse…the abyss of eternally numbed emotions.

Scrat will never know. The silent cynic offers to know. While Scrat labors on frantically. He doesn’t need to know.

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Automatic competition…

Public transport can be many things. Nuisance, blessing, expensive, economical (yep paradoxes reign supreme). One title that I always failed to allude to public transport is : Business. Yeah, its a money earner for drivers and transport companies all right. But one never really pays attention to acute competition strategies or the operational maneuvers of these businesses….right until an autowallah kicks the crap outta the public  car-pool cab ! Confused? Read on…

Players in question:

1) Share-auto

For the uninitiated, share autos are the life line of middle class commuters in certain cities wherein people going to the same destination share the cost of the rick. Only, this sharing is controlled by the driver. Perspective commuters are brought in and masterfully adjusted in the auto. (See pic below)

(let us not get into the legality of it all. Auto-wallah is boss!)

2) Illegal car pool

Well this is a master piece. Software companies hire cabs to ply employees from home to work and back. When not on call, the cab drivers earn some extra dough by doubling up as public commuters. Hey! we arent complaining. Its cheap transport in a slightly more comfortable vehicle.

Issue: “Auto-wallahs wont share no dough!”…Its a vampire-werewolf rivalry. I’d reckon auto-wallahs to be vampires. They suck blood better!

Scene of crime: Hyderabad auto stand.

Plot:

The sly Tata Indica cruises a safe 100 meters ahead of the autorickshaws lined up peacefully at the stand. Masquerading as a company-cab waiting for employees, the cab surreptitiously inches towards a group of commuters. “KKaBBANG!”…the sound of shoe against metal soon fills the air. “Balu”, the auto union vigilante is at it again. No fancy pants cab driver is going to shimmy away with the shared-auto revenue.

Now, the news is that “Balu” is not an auto-wallah. He is the administrator specially posted by the auto-wallah union to police the commuter traffic and allow equal share of profit between all auto-wallahs. “Balu” reinstates the first rule of competition …PROTECT YOUR CUSTOMER BASE.

Wow! there’s a whole new managerial lecture abounding in these share-auto stands. Over the next couple of weeks I plan to unravel some hidden tricks employed in this profession.

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Some Secret Codes

All right, starting out with plagiarised material isn’t the best of ideas. But I found some articles which I found really interesting . Codes are the ultimate alternative reality. They need not be the cryptographic military types. Simple names, gestures and signals go a long way to deliver an urgent message. All malls, hospitals around us use them anyway. Hmm…I wonder how many of these codes mentioned below I have seen/noticed in my daily life.

The use of codes is intended to convey essential information quickly and with a minimum of misunderstanding to staff. Some places use secret codes to pass information between store employees. These are meant to be a secret as they don’t want to alarm the non-staff members or alert someone like a thief to the fact that they have been noticed.

Name Codes

Code Oscar: On a ship, a code oscar means someone has gone overboard. If the ship has to maneuver erratically to handle the situation, it must also send out blasts on the signal so that other ships nearby are aware of the fact that it is about to change its course. It should be noted that ships don’t have an internationally standardized set of PA signals and they can differ from place to place, but this is a fairly commonly used one.

Code delta: can mean that there is a biological hazard – though who knows what that might be on a passenger ship.

Code Alpha: often means “medical emergency”.

Code Adam: was invented by Walmart but it is now an internationally recognized alert. It means “missing child”. The code was first coined in 1994 in memory of Adam Walsh, a six-year old, who went missing in a Sears department store in Florida in 1981. Adam was later found murdered. The person making the announcement will state “we have a code Adam,” followed by a description of the missing child. As soon as the alert is heard, security staff will begin to monitor the doors and other exits. If the child is not found within 10 minutes, the police are alerted and a store search begins. Also, if the child is found in the first 10 minutes in the company of an unknown adult, the police must be called and the person detained if it is safe to do so.

Computer Support Codes

In computer support, a variety of codes can be used when referring to a customer

PEBKAC: Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair

PICNIC: Problem in chair – not in computer

ID 10 T Error: ID 10 T is, of course, IDIOT

“Doctor” Codes

“Doctor” codes are often used in hospital settings for announcements over a general loudspeaker or paging system that might cause panic or endanger a patient’s privacy. Most often, “Doctor” codes take the form of “Paging Dr. _____”, where the doctor’s “name” is a codeword for a dangerous situation or a patient in crisis.

Doctor Brown: is a code word often used in hospitals to alert security staff to a threat to personnel. If a nurse or doctor is in danger from a violent patient or non-staff member, they can page Doctor Brown to their location and the security staff will rush to their aid.

Dr. Allcome: Serious emergency. “Doctor Allcome to Ward 5.” would indicate that all medical staff not presently occupied are needed. (The Med, Memphis Tennessee)

Dr. Firestone: Fire in the hospital. If a fire’s location can be isolated, the location of the fire is included in the page, e.g. “Paging Dr. Firestone to 3 West” indicates “Fire in or near west stairwell/wing on third floor” (William Beaumont Hospitals, Royal Oak and Troy, MI).

Dr. Pyro: Fire in the hospital/healthcare facility. “Paging Dr. Pyro on ____” indicates a fire and its origin or current location, e.g. “Paging Dr. Pyro on 3″ means “Fire on third floor” (Kaiser Permanente, system-wide).

Dr. Strong: Patient needing either physical assistance or physical restraint. “Paging Dr. Strong …” indicates that any physically capable personnel (orderlies, police orsecurity officers, EMTs or firemen, etc.) in the proximity should report and be prepared either to move a patient who “fell down” and cannot get back up or to “capture and restrain” an uncooperative patient.

“Colour” Codes

Code Black:

– In Australia code black is a personal threat. This incorporates a diverse range of situations including assaults, confrontations, hostage situations and threats of personal injury or attack

– Bomb Threat (Ontario, Manitoba)

– In the military code black is bomb threat or discovery of suspicious package.

Code Gray/Grey

– A combative person with no weapon under HASC suggestions.

– Severe Weather (Cook Children’s Medical Center, Fort Worth, TX)

Code Green

-A combative person using physical force, especially weapons. (some American hospitals)

-Used to indicate an evacuation situation, and can refer to the evacuation of a ward/floor/wing or the entire hospital (Code Green – Stat) depending on the call (Ontario Hospital Emergency Codes, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority)

Code Pink

– Biohazardous contamination of a patient or staff. (Heartland Regional Medical Center)

– Patient is under influence of illegal substances (UK First Aid organisations)

Code Purple

– Australian Standard for Bomb or Substance alert

– Hostage situation or patient abduction (Ontario Hospital Association)

– Emergency department can no longer accept patients; divert incoming cases to other hospitals if at all possible (Canada, also Wellstar Health Group)

Code Silver

– Combative person with a Lethal Weapon (HASC recommendations).

– Violent Situation – Lockdown (Cook Children’s Medical Center, Fort Worth, TX)

Code Yellow

– Missing patient (Ontario Hospital Emergency Codes).

Code Orange

– Used in Ontario hospitals to indicate an external disaster with mass casualties. Lockdown or controlled facility access is often used as part of the response. Volunteers, Families and Students were denied access during SARS Outbreak of 2003.

Code Brown

– Missing Adult (University of Toledo Medical Center) (University of Cincinnati Medical Center)

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Nomenclature

SCRATegy: This is my take on a word that i genuinely love: STRATEGY.

A Strategy is a plan to achieve a goal. A strategy to win a battle; A strategy to tame that elusive examination; A strategy to earn riches beyond your wildest dreams. You see? These are all strategies to paint that big picture; to complete that central plot of this movie that is our life. Thats not what I am after. I am after the parallel story.

The hilarious extras dancing to the tunes of a Bollywood musical, the nondescript vegetable-vendor watching a terrorist-shootout being captured on national television: basically…the character/story behind the main plot. Now that’s interesting because it was not meant to be exactly that: interesting.

That brings us to “Scrat”. Anyone who has watched the animated movie series “Ice age” would remember distinctively the sight of the saber-toothed squirrel-rat (Scrat) obsessively finding a way to store its acorn. Scrat’s story is that of pure single-minded passion. Yet its goal is mundane (though the course of his quest is outright hilarious).  Ever wondered what ‘Scrat’ moments abound in our own lives? A completely different thread of our life’s story that we choose to ignore?

Well, that’s what I intend to capture here. The funny undertones to activities in our daily lives. Maybe a smart-ass comment here and there about a subtle concept of life we missed while sticking to our big life plan. This is what I call Scrategy: Scrat strategy. I now move ahead to try to pick up some ‘acorns’ of scrategic wisdom on the path ahead…”forward ho!”

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