They’re just not what they used to be!

Walking to my corner store the other day (yes, this photo is my actual corner store) the old post box and Coca Cola signs caught my eye. I remember as a child we used to run to the local shop on the way home from school, eagerly handing over our loose change for a glass bottle (no cans in those days) and a paper straw, and three sherbet lollies. Now, of course, everything is ordered online, or paid for using a tap-n-go credit card.

I smile as I think of the many times I have said to my daughter “They’re just not what they used to be”. I feel old saying that, but it’s true. I admit defeat and accept that things are changing and I had just better get used to it. Need directions? Why use the street directory when GPS can tell you where to go (and how to ‘recalculate your route’ when you go off course)? Thinking of picking up office supplies in your lunch break? Order ahead for pick up, or book online for same day delivery, and use the store app to track the progress of the delivery.

At the end of the day, however, our needs are much the same as they always have been, even if the methods of meeting these needs have changed.

I can remember learning to type on my grandmother’s old typewriter and booking couriers to deliver audio cassettes for transcriptions. Now, of course, audio files can simply be emailed or uploaded; the typed reports emailed back via secure server. From a specialist’s perspective, I’m sure most of you are enjoying the benefits of using Genie/BlueChip software to fast-track patient bookings and complete billings online.

The same needs are being met, but the processes are vastly different!

Many businesses (and people) may be resistant to change, and I can understand that. Change can be scary, and change can be hard. But when the expectations of clients and patients increase, and in the competitive market of the 21st century, not adapting to change means not surviving it. Patients want diagnoses sooner, referring doctors want results faster, and insurance companies want to settle claims yesterday!

But a proper assessment still requires interpersonal interaction, training and skill, and a diagnosis still requires objective and subjective considerations.

I may not have posted a letter on my walk to the shops, but I did buy a new prepaid SIM, and I did pay for it using my credit card. As for the sherbet lollies? Well, some things never change…