An Open Letter to Sansum

Dear Dr. Ransohoff, Vicki Hazard, and Vince Jensen:

You’ve sent two letters soliciting funds for the Breast Tomosynthesis System. It sounds important, yet it’s somewhat odd to be soliciting your customers, as we all already subsidize you. We subsidize you with our time. We mostly come early, are often kept waiting, and do so willingly. And now you want our money, too? We give up our time so that you are well-booked without gaps and don’t have to give up your time.

There are other issues with time. Why don’t you contact us to let us know when you’re running late? Haven’t the airlines been doing that with flight arrival times for years? Wouldn’t that demonstrate respect for your customers and acknowledge the value of our time?

There’s a provision to charge a patient for a missed or late appointment — does that work the other way, too? Will Sansum pay a patient for his/her time when a provider misuses it?

Enacting such improvements is not hard. You’ve demonstrated success with the implementation of My Chart and preregistration — both are excellent, and kudos to the docs for timely responses. Hopefully they can progress to the point that they view both patient and screen.

Two more things for you to consider are same-day appointments (not urgent care) and a medical advice phone line for questions. Kaiser Permanente has provided an effective one with no fuss or legal disclaimers. Yes, I’m now asking you for money to fund such things, but wouldn’t that help the spirit of community and partnership? And some better outcomes, too?

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