Saturday, March 28, 2009

Reece, Personal musings - A Health Care Computer Tale

In these days of health reform, the media is full of grim tales and deadly seriousness. And rightly so. But, as this tale shows, there is still gloom for improvement.

The greatest computer that had ever been designed that could answer any and all questions was finally ready to be put into action. All the world’s greatest politicians, policy makers, software experts, government officials, health plan executives, drug makers, health care supply chain manufacturers, physicians, patients, and consumer groups were gathered to ask the right questions to initiate operations.

President Obama stepped forward and said, “ I have three questions.”

One, “Is there a God?” The vast machine went into action. Lights flashed, and strange clicking sounds whirred inside the great beast. Finally a deep voice from the vitals of the machine emerged and said, “Now there is.”

Second, “Is there a computer than can answer all health system questions?” “Not yet!” groaned the vast machine.

Third, “What is the meaning of life?” “Life,” proclaimed the all-knowing all-seeing computer, “ is a riddle wrapped inside a mystery inside an enigma contained within a conundrum that is itself a great puzzle that does not yield to algorithms or derivatives and that can’t be googled.”

“Well,” said President Obama, “ then I will have to find the answer myself.”

To conclude,

As an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-purpose machine,

The computer has problems not always foreseen.

It can add and subtract and to the routine react,

But when it comes to humans and thoughts abstract,

It has little to add or contribute to the old bean.

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