What does something missed cost?
By Lt. Col. John Catoe, 20th Medical Support Squadron
/ Published June 02, 2017
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --
It's Friday morning after a long week. Bob’s alarm announces the day; it is 5 a.m. and he stayed up too late.
Still tired, he gets rolling knowing it’s going to be a positive day because the weekend is just a few hours away. Like any other morning, he walks with determination to the kitchen and grabs that first cup of coffee.
He goes through his morning rituals, but something nags at his mind. His thoughts wander: sign off on that leave for Amn. Smith, remember to run to the commissary, his kids’ sporting events, and the list continues to grow as he rushes out the door.
Settling into his day, he takes a glance at the calendar and is reminded that he has a follow-up appointment for his high blood pressure, scheduled months in advance. He received a phone call reminder the previous day but that was quickly dismissed. Shortly before his appointment, Bob gets pulled into a meeting and misses the appointment.
In the grand scheme of things, missing one appointment is not the end of the world, but it does come at a cost.
During the month of April, the 20th Medical Group had 289 no-show appointments, worth an estimated $87,000. Additionally, the 20th Dental Squadron clinic had 47 no-shows for April. If this trend continues for the remainder of 2017, just over one million dollars will be wasted this year.
What many patients may not realize is that workload drives manning requirements. If the 20th MDG consistently loses this monthly workload, then we may lose the manning to cover future appointments.
The 20th MDG motto is “You can do this and we are here to help,” and we are reliant on all patients, including Airmen like Bob, to be proactive in their personal health care as we strive to be supportive in every way possible.
Bob missing something that seems as simple and benign as his blood pressure follow-up, could impact his health currently and lead to further complications down the road.
The 20th MDG’s mission is jeopardized when appointments are missed because the opportunity to improve Bob’s health was a no-go from the start. The other items on Bob’s list also have costs if they are missed.
How about that leave form for Smith? Although it may be thought of as absent-mindedness, forgetting to approve a leave form could produce trust issues. Smith counts on Bob and may not receive leave for those days as a result. This could cost Bob the trust of his subordinate … a heavy price to pay. Last, but never least, rushing out the door has Bob missing time with his family.
Take the time to get that hug or kiss from your loved ones. The cost of these neglected items cannot be measured.
Remember, when something is overlooked or missed there is always a cost involved. Consider how your actions can cost others, and organizations, as a whole, and by all means don’t forget to pick up the milk.