Friday, April 12, 2013

The Yacker Tracker Yanked

Somehow this didn't really come as a surprise at all. Our recovery room recently purchased a Yacker Tracker to monitor the noise levels that were drawing complaints from patients and families. The device is supposed to alarm if the room reached a certain loudness so that everybody would know when to pipe down.

Predictably, like other ill advised medical purchases designed to improve patient care, this one didn't really pan out. As you can see, the Yacker Tracker has now been ignominiously relegated to the closet, piled up with the discarded chairs and other furniture that nobody wants or needs.

This is so typical of the waste that we see all the time in medicine. Somebody will get the bright idea to buy a new piece of equipment because they went to a conference that extolled the virtues of the latest and greatest technology. Or there will be some issue that can only be solved by acquiring more costly paraphernalia. After spending scarce dollars on this stuff, people realize it is no better than what we had before. In this case, my high school librarian could have done a better job of keeping a room quiet. The money has been spent but the problem has not been resolved. If this is typical of how medical dollars are wasted around the country are we surprised how little the trillions of dollars we spend on healthcare get us?

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