The Exponential Decay of Patient Experience

While I was teaching my son to drive we encountered a stretch of highway that did not have any other cars on it. As he was talking to me I noticed that the dial on the speedometer had passed seventy.

I told him the next time he is traveling that fast in something with wheels on it that there had better be a stewardess in the same vehicle.

NPR was celebrating the life of a poet and it made me think, the last time I considered poetry was in high school, and that was because someone made me consider it. I suspect one’s knowledge of, and familiarity with poetry, decays exponentially—the further removed you are from it the less familiar it seems. There are times when for a Chi-Chi effect, when you happen to be at a Chi-Chi function, there are benefits to being able to quote a stanza from something like In Flanders Field:

We are the dead: short days ago,

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved: an now we lie

In Flanders field

I feel it gives me a certain je ne sais quoi. Sort of like looking at some of the art hanging in your corporate offices. Find a piece that looks like a child’s refrigerator art, and wait until someone senior is in the area. Then step back from it, hold one arm across your chest, and rest the elbow of your other arm on the first arm and place your fingers against your lip the way Bill Clinton would when he was feeling your pain. Then say hmmm, as though you understand the depth of what the artist was trying to convey. If you really have the technique down, you may even wish to use the opportunity to quote poetry.

Exponential decay of knowledge about something. The further removed you are from it the less familiar it seems.

Experience with Patient Experience has a similar exponential decay.

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