What Happens when Wonder Bread Meets Healthcare?

The woman I passed during my run today wore purple tights, a purple top, and a green hat—she looked like an eggplant on two feet.

Did you know that Wonder Bread has been around for ninety-six years?  It’s been an American staple for school lunches for most of those years.  One slice of bread, a slice of bologna, and a second slice of bread.  The basic sandwich for sixth-graders.  If you are not a fan of bologna, use something else; cheese, ham, or PB&J.  The bread part stays the same.

A piece of Wonder Bread in 1921 would look identical to a 2017 piece of the same bread.

Tang, the drink of choice for astronauts, was invented in 1957—four years before we invented astronauts.  The recipe has not changed in 60 years.  For lunch, kids can eat the Same Wonder Bread and drink the same Tang as their grandparents.

Some things don’t change.  Sometimes that is a good thing.

During their lunch breaks, the people who answered the phones in the call centers of hospitals in 1957 would eat their Wonder Bread sandwiches and drink their Tang.  Today, call center agents can eat the same lunch.  And when they are finished eating their lunches, they answer the same kinds of calls, using essentially the same technology that was used in 1957—from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Some things don’t change.  That’s a good thing if you happen to like Wonder Bread and Tang.

It’s a bad thing if you happen to be a person who needs to access their health system. It can feel like an internecine relationship; the proletariat versus the hospitalists.

Health system executives are absent when it comes to improving access and engagement.  A lot of patients are calling.  A lot of people are having to call more than once.  And a lot of people aren’t calling back.

2 thoughts on “What Happens when Wonder Bread Meets Healthcare?

  1. When something works, don’t fix it, but we mustn’t let that blind us to the things that really do need fixing. Great analogy (I happen to fall in the PB&J crowd).


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