Friday, May 29, 2009

Tight Spot

A couple of summers ago, my family visited Scenic Caves near Collingwood, Ontario. As we hiked through the caves, we came to a cleft in the rock called “Fat Man’s Misery”. It’s a narrow gap in the rock that only slim people can squeeze through. The alternative route is to backtrack and take a slightly longer path.

My younger sons – then aged 8 and 10 – were amused at the thought of someone getting stuck in this crevasse. They thought it would be easy to pass through, and before I could stop them, they both did so. That left me with a problem.

A turn in the middle of the crevasse made it impossible for me to see the other end. I could see the passage narrowing as it turned. It looked like I would fit through the visible part, but I had no way of knowing whether it narrowed even further around the corner. Also, the passage was irregular and I would only be able to fit through facing one way. If there were any other rocky protrusions around the corner, I might get stuck in an awkward position.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Do You Recall

At the IHI Clinical Practice Redesign Summit in Vancouver, Advanced Access guru Catherine Tantau suggested that the gold-standard for specialist wait times is 1 week.
When wait times are that short, practices start reaping the benefits such as less wasted administrative effort, fewer no-shows and greater flexibility in physician schedules.

One week? It boggles the mind!

In early 2008, we were on our way with our 3rd NAA down to 30 days from our starting point of 70 days. Then, one partner switched to half-time work. Our 3rd NAA crept up a little until July 2008 when 2 more partners switched to half-time. Since then, our 3rd NAA has gradually climbed back to its original level. Aaaaaargh!

Monday, May 4, 2009


The backyard of my parents’ winter home in Arizona sports an orange tree.

That’s quite a novelty for grandchildren visiting from Saskatchewan.

Grandpa likes a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice for breakfast and asked if his 2 young grandsons would make it for him. The next morning, the boys rushed outside, filled a bag with oranges, and brought them back to the kitchen. There, they had worked out an assembly-line system to get Grandpa his juice. The older one sliced each orange in half and the younger one squeezed. And squeezed. And squeezed.

But a 3-year-old only squeezes a dribble of juice out of each orange before moving on to the next half. It wasn’t long before they had to pick more oranges. And then run to the neighbor’s yard to pick those oranges. And still, Grandpa’s glass wasn’t full of juice.