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18 June 2017 - Technology, So Important

The word is ‘technology’. In the world of agriculture we use this word a great deal as we discuss the great advances in technology for crop production. Technology enables farmers to produce food and energy for everyone in this country and for millions of people in countries around the world. Without technology, we wouldn’t be able to produce what we do on our farms and ranches.

But today, I want to talk about technology in medicine. Having just come off a 3 ½ month “vacation” involving three surgeries and four hospital stays at the Mayo Hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona, I have certainly had first-hand opportunity to appreciate medical technology as well as the spirit of the people who work in hospitals and health care. I was so impressed by the machines and instruments that can detect health issues early and the doctors and their teams who quickly take that information and turn it into healing for their patients.

A couple of decades ago I served on the Board of Trustees of a large hospital in suburban Chicago. In my mind, hospital costs were already extremely high, but at every Board meeting there was a discussion on whether we should raise the daily room rate even higher. I was one of those who dissented because I thought we would price ourselves out of the health market and we would put many of our prospective patients in financial difficulty.

But a long-time Board member sat down with me and explained it this way. “Orion, look at it this way, if you are having surgery or arriving at the hospital in an ambulance because of a traffic accident or other emergency and we in the hospital say - Well, we have three levels of service - we have the Basic Care Level at this price, the Medium Care Level at this price and then we have the Premium Level at this price which gives you all the technology we have at our disposal.. Which one would you pick?”

Well, there was no doubt, I would pick the Premium and most expensive level of service as it would give me the best chance to return to good health, and, perhaps, even save my life.

So I did learn a lesson. Medical treatment is expensive, but when you need it, you want the best-trained Doctors and all of the latest technology to give you the best chance you have to return to good health and perhaps even save your life. Thank you to the Mayo Doctors and their support teams for their knowledge and care.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.