Since it’s Thanksgiving here in the states, you’d rather laugh than work, right? In case anyone was wondering if the Wal-Mart retail clinic idea is getting any traction, here’s a joke from an e-mail recently forwarded to me. (File this under clinical decision support.):
One day, in line at the company cafeteria, Joe says to Mike behind him, “My elbow hurts like hell. I guess I’d better see a doctor.”
“Listen, you don’t have to spend that kind of money,” Mike replies.
“There’s a diagnostic computer down at Wal-Mart. Just give it a urine sample and the computer will tell you what’s wrong and what to do about it.
It takes 10 seconds and costs $10 — A lot cheaper than a doctor.”
So, Joe deposits a urine sample in a small jar and takes it to Wal-Mart. He deposits $10, and the computer lights up and asks for the urine sample. He pours the sample into the slot and waits.
Ten seconds later, the computer ejects a printout:
“You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water and avoid heavy activity. It will improve in two weeks. Thank you for shopping @ Wal-Mart.”
That evening, while thinking how amazing this new technology was, Joe began wondering if the computer could be fooled.
He mixed some tap water, a stool sample from his dog, urine samples from his wife and daughter, and a sperm sample for good measure.
Joe hurries back to Wal-Mart, eager to check the results. He deposits $10, pours in his concoction, and awaits the results.
The computer prints the following:
1. Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener. (Aisle 9)
2. Your dog has ringworm. Bathe him with anti-fungal shampoo. (Aisle 7)
3. Your daughter has a cocaine habit. Get her into rehab.
4. Your wife is pregnant. Twins. They aren’t yours. Get a lawyer.
5. If you don’t stop playing with yourself, your elbow will never get better!
Thank you for shopping @ Wal-Mart.