Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Air Passenger Travel and Population Based Health Care, Managed Care and Disease Management: Overlaping Terminology

The Disease Management Care Blog spent the day being victimized by our air transportation system and noticed many an uncanny resemblance between the healthcare and airline industries. So much so that some of the terminology used by the DMCB in past posts can be easily applied to the average passenger’s experience.

To wit:

System Inertia: What happens when a customer with a complicated itinerary has a flight delay with connection problems and hogs the attention of the gate agent.

Stakeholder: Anyone who plants or ‘stakes’ both elbows on the counter of a gate agent while dealing with a complicated itinerary. See ‘system inertia.’

Maximizing Outcomes: the jostling of the experienced travelers to get on the plane first so that they can be first to access the overhead bins with their generously sized carry-ons.

Disparities: the unfavorable ratio of available space to carry-on luggage volume for persons unable to maximize outcomes.

The Underserved Population: first time travelers who are baffled by garbled overhead announcements, opaque seating systems and how First Class passengers are always allowed to board ahead of everyone else - even when they get in line with them.

Outlier: the inexplicable tendency of underserved populations to remain in the aisle and not get in their seat while tending to the countless last minute details of traveling, like checking their ticket one more time, getting their food out, dealing with disparities and chatting it up with other underserveds.

Chaos Theory: the sudden and noisy unwinding of a toddler’s patience with being confined in a aluminum tube at 35,000 feet. More likely to manifest itself during descent thanks to narrow Eustacean tubes.

P value: the superior status of the lavatories in the front of the airplane thanks to the requirement that passengers restrict themselves to their ticketed cabin.

Regression to the Mean: the over-response of the DMCB spouse to the perfectly reasonable possibility that her frequent flying husband could get a coveted upgrade to First Class without her.

Withholds: the DMCB spouse’s solution to her husband’s continued willingness to go to First Class without her, despite Regression to the Mean.

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