The Customer is NEVER Right - A Nurse Practitioner's Perspective
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Adding insult to injury

In 2013, at the University at Buffalo, President Obama announce a college rating system, similar to HCAHPS-Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, with the intent of publicly shaming, as does HCAHPS to healthcare, low-rate school that saddle students with high debt and poor earning potential.

It can be said that the announcement’s intent in 2013 was to put colleges on notice that schools performing poorly on this (innovative great idea from stupid people—my words) rating system would, as HCAHPS does to healthcare, eventually would lose access to billions of dollars in federal student aid money.

Fortunately, for the 7,000+ colleges and universities of our great nation, the leaders of those organizations, unlike healthcare, had the testicular fortitude to push back our President’s misguided idea. Those leaders, unlike healthcare, standing their grounds with the simple objection that “the government had no business competing with [established] college rating services [already] offered…” Huh? What a concept! Unfortunately for healthcare the already offered option, like Press Ganey, is a bad one too!

The colleges did not only push back they push back despite the administration’s bravado that ‘the train had left the station’. A phrase healthcare administrators fell for, one after the other after the other—bending over without objection or as much as a, “But…but…but,” plead. No pun intended.

The President’s reasoning for such poor idea, “Taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing students to go to schools where the kids aren’t graduating.”

Really? Somehow it is the schools fault the “kids” are not graduating. Huh? First, very few “kids” are in our nation’s institutions of higher education. Instead, most in college are adults, 18-year-olds and over, and as adults they, and only they, are responsible for their outcomes. Not to mention, I am sure most do graduate so why is the shortcoming of those who do not the fault of the schools when it was them, as adults, who chose to go those schools in the first place.

Maybe, just maybe, it is the fact that they are still “kids”, lacking in maturity, and that is the reason they fail—for trying to eat at the adult table before ready.

The language used by the leaders of colleges to describe the President’s efforts included bitter words like “uncharacteristically clueless” [I would say the adjective ‘uncharacteristically’ an effort to be politically correct—but again what do I know], “oversimplified to the point that it actually misleads” [as does HCAHPS] and “quite wrongheaded”. I of course concur with all especially with regards to HCAHPS!
So it was no surprise, to me, that a primary criticism of the college rating system, and HCAHPS as well, was that it would “force…to prioritize moneymaking [ideas]”. As mentioned, sounds familiar and likely an outcome that is predictable. Thus, either healthcare administrators also knew those moneymaking ideas or opportunities would take precedence and what they desired. Or! They simply bent over, yes, bent over, rather than backwards, and accepted the idiotologies [sic] of outsiders. I will bet the farm that it was the latter because of healthcare’s submissive, altruistic and accommodating culture. But what do I know.

After all the above mentioned, I am curious as to why the President has not thought of implementing such great idiotic ideas of performance based pay for our elected officials. Let see how much they would like to lose pay or be fired on a monthly basis, and not elections, but instead based on surveys from their constituents. As very few, if any, the President included, come close to a 75% approval rating. Because when it comes down to it, “Taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing [politicians who are not producing results for their constituents]” either.

Lastly, “Officials [whoever that is] said they hoped the information would help students avoid making poor choices when deciding where to attend college.”

A statement that makes my mind wonder, never a good thing, how did we navigate picking a school without such idiotology [sic] before? I for one was CLUELESS, and that was characteristically clueless and not the uncharacteristic kind. As I really had no idea what I was doing when I filled out the application to attend school and something I disclose in “The Customer in NEVER Right” as well. However, once accepted I was determine to finish school, well, actually, I did consider dropping out of both nursing school and graduate school. Not because the material was difficult but because of the CRAP with having to be a student in a culture that first prides itself in what I have labeled as “the right of passage” with its junior-high mentality. And second, the submissive and accommodating culture that permeates in healthcare—both other stories. Had it not been for my life [sic] keeping her glove (boxing glove that is—a Latino idiom that gets lost in translation) I would have quitted both programs—another story as well. Nonetheless, because she is AWESOME and I am lucky, it is she who deserves the credit as my incentive to finish both programs and now love the work I do—although that love is on a day-by-day basis.

The irony of this article, AND I CANNOT, CANNOT, MAKE THIS STUFF UP, is the fact that an acceptable graduation rate by the government’s standards is 75%. That number, 75%, continuing to appear as “THE” acceptable rate across ALL industries and something I mention in “The Customer is NEVER Right” as well, despite I am neither a businessperson, an economist nor a statistician. HUH! Who knew? Having said that, somehow, healthcare is held to 80%. The reason, again, BEND OVER, healthcare administrators were told and SO they did!

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