Paging Dr. Technology


Does your doctor use an iPad, tablet, laptop, or computer at any point during your check up? I for one have experienced several doctors utilizing technology during a doctor’s appointment, paying more attention to the technology than my medical concerns.

Information technology is being implemented across the medical industry. Paper has become a nonentity, and more doctors are straying away from the old fashioned version of record keeping. Digitalizing records, and utilizing electronic health records to supervise patients’ medical histories is becoming the new norm. However, productivity will decline if this new technology is not executed correctly.

According to the article, How Electronic Patient Records Can Slow Doctor Productivity, the implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) should be advantageous to all medical institutions, but “in general, larger offices in the study that employed EHRs recorded productivity gains, but certain types of smaller practices lost productivity.”

When EHRs are applied, they can create subtle changes within the practice, thus ultimately changing the way the operation functions. The “communication patterns” of the staff become incompatible, and doctors, nurses, and clinical staff are finding themselves spending more time working on the systems than with patients. This in turn, is extending their workday, they now have to do more work, and they may lose business from disgruntled patients.

EHRs were originally put into operation to promote efficiency and make patient care safer. EHRs allow for “patient data to be shared relatively easily between providers within a given practice” and eliminate the possibility of penmanship errors. The best part about EHRs is that they can immediately detect errors that are made, which makes this type of record-keeping effective and beneficial to the medical field.

Higher levels of production in some medical institutions have seen high productivity; these institutions utilized more EHR usage and increased delegation. Larger medical facilities now hire an EHR staff and that staff becomes responsible for maintaining the data, entering the data, and also helping all other staff with EHRs.

The article hypothesizes that smaller medical institutions are more face-to-face oriented, and focus on establishing a doctor-patient relationship through communication. Additionally, some smaller medical institutions do not have the means to pay for an increase in their EHR systems or an EHR staff to promote delegation within the office.

The article concludes with this statement: “We often look at systems on the basis of their technical capability, the fact that they can store this many records or process that many requests in this period of time. But when we ask how that technology can improve productivity, we have to consider that the true capability of the system depends on the context in which it is adopted.”

Why do you think that productivity declines for some institutions? Do you feel that these new information technology systems are beneficial? Or are they creating a rift in your doctor-patient relationship?





Is the Voting Process Worth the Trouble?

November 4th was voting day for midterm elections. Unfortunate problems occurred on Tuesday in Illinois, especially in Chicago. These problems ranged from inoperable voting machines, missing ballot pages, closed polling stations, and missing judges. I don’t claim to know much about the voting process, but evidently judges need to be present at all polling stations, and many stations on Tuesday did not have judges present, so some polling stations had to delay voting for as much as 3 hours until the judges arrived. These problems caused reportedly hundreds of people to leave polling stations to go home. Illinois governor candidates Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner preached the importance of getting out and going to vote. There were already concerns that not enough people get out and vote, so these problems aren’t going to help matters. I’m wondering if there is a more effective way for the voting process to work.

Being born and raised in Illinois, I am fairly familiar with the vibe Election Day gives off here. My mom always dragged me and my siblings to the polling stations with her after school so she could go and vote. Even as a kid, I despised going with her so she can vote. Even as a child, I realized that polling stations are a complete mess and a headache. Assuming everything runs smoothly, voting is still a lengthy and stressful process. Add in the unpredictable problems like in this year’s Election Day, and the excuses people use for not voting pile up.

Yes, some people take advantage of early mail-in voting. But being realistic, most people aren’t going to do that. Voting should be encouraged everywhere, but to do that the process itself needs to avoid being overwhelmingly stressful to potential voters. Aside from the actual Election Day, many complain that they don’t know where to go or how to register to vote. I know these answers can be found if you look hard enough, but for the majority of Americans, these problems and concerns are relatable and reasonable. I am not sure if this is a state concern or national concern, but everything about the voting process should be less complicating and stressful.

Missouri took initiative this year and did their best to make Election Day run as smooth as possible. At many polling stations, they had 2 buildings at polling stations operate as opposed to 1, to allow quicker and smoother voting. Many other states implemented small and minor changes as well. However, the overall process, especially in Illinois, seems to be lacking organizational structure and order.

What changes, if any, do you think should be implemented to the voting process? Or do you like the way things operate as is?

How UPS (might) Steal Christmas

Last year, there was a very well-known fiasco due to an increased amount of purchases on the internet. It was such an unforeseen forecast that it is now infamous and glued to UPS’ reputation. The harsh winter across the country and the spike in online orders, as opposed to brick and mortar stores where delivery is likely sufficient in absenteeism, are the two most cited reasons as to why there was such a failure in operations. The Christmas deadline guarantee is such an important concept to consumers who do not want to miss out on that magical Christmas morning that failing to abide by such explicit guarantees is harmful for business. Personally, I have not used UPS since this inexcusable fiasco caused multiple packages to be delivered after Christmas. Thankfully, out of coincidental luck, the one package that was late was to someone who was Jewish.


Now, online ordering is expected to grow even more. With the increased presence of mobile ordering through smart phones and tablets, online ordering is even easier and more accessible across the country. Amazon even offers a bar code scanner to instantly price check and of course purchase the scanned item when a customer is in a store. Often, Amazon can win these price wars; instead of a customer buying something in the store and bringing it home themselves this causes another package that must be delivered across the country. Amazon’s presence is so large in the online marketplace that about half of UPS’ packages have that familiar smile box.


The article claims that shippers are bracing for an even busier season: USPS is expecting to deliver 15.1 billion parcels which is the high end of the estimates. As we learned in class, forecasts are rarely accurate. However, there are certain reliability factors that UPS and FedEx have used to differentiate themselves from a more economical service (USPS).  Shouldn’t there be a higher standard when reliability is such an importance in the business component?


In addition to forecasting errors last year, there was a misattribution of efficiency. There was not enough workers to load the trucks, and it caused a severe backload of packages. This year, UPS has determined they need an additional 95,000 seasonal workers in the hopes this will be sufficient to combat demand.


Forecasting a holiday season is hard enough in such a fast-evolving marketplace, but adding in the operations component of worker efficiency, inventory management (they can’t have too many packages at one shipping hub or they won’t have enough room), and the unpredictability of the winter season it is almost an amazement they have been so reliable throughout the years.


Were you affected last year by the UPS fiasco?

Do you now trust UPS less due to their mistakes of the past?

Do you tend to purchase your products online or at a traditional store?



Should they stay…or should they go now?!


These past few weeks an important topic drew the public’s attention about American corporations. Largely it has initiated a hot and emotional debate on the current political paradigm. A significant discussion is on companies’ tax-inversion. This is the practice of purchasing foreign company, and claiming that the company was a “parent” company. This way the “investor” is no longer obligated to pay U.S. income tax on any revenue made outside of the country. As a result, more organizations are taking advantage on tax avoidance. Due to these complaints President Obama and his administration is imposing new rules to oppose and disallow these loopholes.

Many fortune 500 organizations are considering this option. Recently Burger King, made headlines when they are trying to move their headquarters to Canada from Florida. They are working on purchasing the largest fast food service, Tim Hortons, Inc. which is based in Canada.

In management class we have learned that efficiency and effectiveness are some of the major keys in organization’s performance, as well as their ethical outlook. As a customers, we support businesses that have strong reputation and those companies that invest and contribute to the community well-being.
Today’s economy is very volatile and competitive place to do business in. Majority of large American companies are global, and they need competent people that are capable of tackling different issues to be productive and innovated. To achieve a greater goal you need also a great leadership; managers who must understand others, make responsible choices, and take proper actions to achieve the desired objectives.

I understand the frustration of people complaining about companies changing their “citizenship,” and consequently avoiding paying taxes on non-U.S. profits. Also, I do understand the government administration is trying to protect self-interests as they are losing revenue. However, when comparing the US with other developed countries, United States has one of the highest corporate tax rate. If businesses continue to pay high rates, they will be looking for other alternative methods to save money and as a result they will be unable to reinvest more in our people and our communities.
Instead of punishing companies that are moving abroad to avoid paying taxes, the government should try to lower the tax rate and encourage organizations to return and create more jobs back home.


Someone may say that tax inversion loophole creates incentives for companies to put their self-interest above others and act unethical. From the stockholders perspective at the end of a day the most essential goal is to accelerate and satisfy returns on investments to shareholders.

Do you think companies should continue taking advantage on tax inversion? Or should they receive tax benefit and expand their operations right here in U.S.? How about the ethical issues? What behavior is appropriate or inappropriate for organizations?

Apple Creates The Weak In A Week

Recently, a new form of payment has been introduced to the world: Apple Pay. This is a “digital wallet” which allows people to make purchases with a single touch on their mobile devices. Although this form of payment has been around, such as the Google Wallet, Apple Pay has already dominated the mobile payments market in only one week. What makes Apple Pay so special and why has it already become the most popular mobile payments platform?

appley pay into


There are numerous locations that provide NFC (Near Field Communication) payments, and Apple Pay seems to be the easiest to utilize. Unlike other methods, Apple Pay requires consumers to only hold their finger on the mobile’s fingerprint scanner called the Touch ID. There will be no more of reaching into your wallet and trying to find a piece of plastic. Comparing to the Google Wallet, individuals are required to take a few more steps to complete the transaction such as entering their pin number. Apple Pay seems to be more convenient where it outperforms its competitors.

More to Apple Pay’s popularity is their secured system. According to NBC News, “The tokenization system built into Apple Pay is considered one of the most secure, fraud-proof ways to make payments, because it keeps consumers’ actual credit card data from ever entering a retailer’s point-of-sale system”. Furthermore, Apple Pay requires biometric verification to continue with the transaction. Security is an important aspect that grabs consumer’s attention. Since the hacking incident on CurrentC, one of Apple Pay’s competitors, people are starting to be very cautious on using the NFC payment method. Apple Pay is known to include a secured server that may even be safer than using credit cards. These key features of Apple Pay have brought its service on top within one week of their release.

As appealing as Apple Pay sounds, other NFC payment platforms provide more features that do not exist in Apple Pay. For example, Google Wallet is able to accept any type of major credit and debit cards. Apple Pay does not accept discover which limits their target market. Also, Google Wallet is also available in both iOS and Android devices. Using Google Wallet, individuals are able to send and accept money from others. With other digital wallets capable of much more features, Apple Pay still beats its competitors. Its feature of being highly convenient and secured has boosted up their amount of users. You now can understand how quality improves profitability.

Fulfilling customer expectations with the services Apple provides can gain additional sales. Apple Pay has also boosted up iPhone 6 sales, as it is only compatible with that type of device. Not only has its features bring in more users, but help generate more sales in the market. It’s clever to see how Apple Pay is also used as a marketing strategy. The creation of Apple Pay may be the beginning to a generation of solely mobile payments.

Do you believe that Apple Pay will remain on top of its competitors? How much longer?
As an Apple user, I may come out biased on over-crediting Apple Pay. Do you believe their service is superior to others?




While reading an article the other day, I came across a new way that companies are now implementing to save money. Over the past few years with the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, many companies’ IT departments have been trying to resolve a problem of integrating personal devices at the workplace and analyzing how it can benefit the company. According to Gartner, a research and advisory firm, “has predicted that at least half of white collar employees in the United States will be using their own devices for work by 2017.”

Some advantages that come with this integration are increased motivation and productivity, less training on devices and programs, and access for employees to connect wherever and whenever they want.

Employees handle their own upgrades

This saves the IT a considerable amount of money each year. And the employees are happier because they can choose when they want to upgrade and to what device to upgrade to – instead of being at the mercy of the IT guy.

Less waste means few unnecessary expenses

When companies purchase electronic devices (computers, smartphones, and tablets), they always tend to overbuy to side on caution so that every employee will have a device and not to create a lag time for incoming employees. This is a waste of money for the company and can be eliminated since employees would be responsible for supplying their own.

Greater comfort = Fewer training costs

Training costs go down when employees are utilizing technologies with which they are already comfortable, which would curb the time it takes to learn a new program or app. And in some cases, training can be altogether eliminated from the books. 

As companies are continually looking to improve their processes and save money. I feel this is an inexpensive way to lower costs, be more productive, and keep happier employees.


I Voted, but ______ (Insert Your Voting Problem Here)

Have you seen them? No, not the people who are still celebrating Halloween or the stores already in holiday mode (we see you, Macy’s), but the stickers.  The wonderful little red, white, and blue stickers that advertise your civic duty and also give you various food and beverage discounts. Yeah, those stickers. It’s Election Day 2014 and people have experienced a multitude of problems acquiring their “I Voted” stickers.

Polling locations in Chicago are supposed to be open 6am-7pm, but many voters are complaining that the polls weren’t open. A school polling location did not open until 8am while another location, a restaurant, was forced open after 6am because the owner had yet to arrive. Officials announced that the restaurant will remain open for voting for an extra hour, however other locations that experienced late openings will still close at 7.

“We ran into a number of issues,” Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen said, citing staffing issues at some locations where only a few judges were present. This was the case in the 46th Ward where voters could not cast their ballots until 7:30am.

Elsewhere in Chicago some people have reported having incomplete ballots and multiple polling locations have had problems with electronic voting machines, leading to voters using paper ballots.

The problems are not limited to Chicago. The Georgia Secretary of State’s website, where many voters go to locate their polling location, crashed multiple times Tuesday morning. In Colorado, the Statewide Colorado Registration and Election system needed to be rebooted midday to fix technical problems that had been delaying voters. This system is used at every polling location in Colorado to verify that voters are registered and have not yet cast a ballot.

It appears that these Election Day problems are split between staffing errors and technical glitches. Elections have been taking place for over 200 years, yet major problems always occur. It is one thing for a couple people to fail to arrive at their post and for a couple of computers to malfunction, but there are more than a couple people not showing up at their post and entire computer systems failing. Some people waited out the problems in order to vote, but many people have specific windows for when they can go to a voting location and cast their ballot.  Because of their time constraints, the problems have either prevented them from voting entirely or have deterred them from trying. Is there a way to fix the system so that those who choose can receive their “I Voted” stickers problem-free?


How would you manage the problems facing voters on Election Day? Do you think technical issues or staffing problems are easier to prepare and problem solve for? What can be done for future elections to try and minimize problems? Is there a way to make the voting process more efficient?



Can My Boss Do That?

    All employers want their employees are doing a good job, but employees do not want be monitoring all the time. They want to have their own privacy. This is the essential conflict of the workplace monitoring. Let’s assume your boss can monitor any  phone, company-owned computer or any other technology.  Deleted computer files and emails are not completely gone. If it was ever on your computer, it can still be found. They may find our your personal things that you do not want your boss know, or it is not good for a boss to know. New technologies make it possible for employers to monitor many aspects of their employees’ job, especially on telephone, computer voice mail and so on. Such monitoring is virtually unregulated. Therefore, unless company policy specifically states, otherwise your employer may listen, watch and read most of your workplace communications.

屏幕快照 2014-11-04 9.49.56 PM

Your boss can monitor:

  • Internet use
  • how long your are on your computer
  • software downloads
  • Documents on your computer
  • What websites you visit
  • Emails
  • Chatting

However, bosses have their own reason for monitor their employees:

  • Make sure employees do not share secret company information
  • Exposing computer viruses
  • Working during working time
  • How hard the worker are
  • bandwidth use

Currently there are only a few law regulating employee monitoring. However, there are several groups that are actively involved in workplace monitoring issues and that advocate stronger government regulation of employee monitoring activities. Obviously, the laws are on the side of the employers.  The employer has the right to telephone monitor, computer monitor, electronic mail monitor, voice mail monitor, postal mail monitor , and video monitor, which the employee cannot say no to these. If i were the employee and under these monitors, i may not feel like comfortable. I feel like there is a person who are watching me.

So for workers, how could they feel more comfortable under all these monitors? In my opinion, if they do not use the computer to do any personal thing, it will never be a problem their boss to find on their computer. Next,  it is better for the employees to use personal email account instead of working email, but that does not give you the total protection, however,  your boss will know that you are doing your personal thing and may not care about that. All in all, put most of your working time on working, do not do any other things that is not related to your work, such as read the facebook, shopping online, then your boss will know you are not lazy and will not fire you.

Do you think the boss can monitor all these?

If Yes/No, what is the reason?

Related article:


More Lobster for Red Lobster


Americans go to Red Lobster with the intention of indulging in various forms of seafood, but would you ever dare to try a plate of pork chops at Red Lobster?  Not surprisingly, Red Lobster’s sales have been dwindling down in the past few years for this very reason.  Red Lobster was failing to supply their core customers’ demands and was instead trying to appeal to everyone.

Red Lobster was previously owned by Darden Restaurants, the famous owners of American’s favorite food chains such as Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, and Seasons52.  Recently however, Darden Restaurants decided to drop Red Lobster from their lineup and thus Red Lobster decided to rebrand their image and revamp their menu under their new owners the Golden Gate Capital Group.

As a Band-Aid, their “quick fix” Red Lobster turned to handing out promotional deals.  Hoping to grab there past customer’s attention, the lobster chain ended up overwhelming their customers and failed in achieving their goal of increasing sales.

From thorough research conducted, Red Lobster claimed, “while we had the seafood our guests crave, we didn’t have the right kind of seafood, enough of a presence of lobster.” Red Lobster believes it has found its new solution in creating a new menu.  Red Lobster’s new menu is claiming to cater to their customers’ demands by raising the amount of lobster presence from 75 percent to 85 percent and including refreshing new dishes such as Lobster Tacos and Roasted Maine Lobster Bake.

Oddly enough there was not enough lobster at Red Lobster.  Customers would choose to dine at Red Lobster with the intention of eating seafood not chicken linguine.  Some of the dishes on the menu were not even closely related to seafood and did not contain any seafood.  It is understandable that Red Lobster would want to cater to people with dietary limitations; however, it is hard to understand why there would be a demand for pork chops at a seafood restaurant.

In another attempt to make their menu more appealing, Red Lobster has decided to change their layout.  Red Lobster has eliminated the text heavy format and opted for a two-page fold with more pictures.  Their research has shown that a more navigable menu would make the environment and dining experience more appealing.

Red Lobster’s president Salli Setta claimed, “We want to be not just the biggest seafood restaurant, but the best seafood restaurant.”  This is quite a large goal for a restaurant that is suffering from years of bad sales.

Red Lobster’s new take on their menu could help but can it really turn the company around?  When was the last time you dined in at Red Lobster? Have you noticed any positive or negative differences in the food chain?


Supply Chain sustainability.

Supply Chain sustainability.


The customer is always right. Every salesman dies a little inside when he hears those words. However, group of customers all can be profited from, thus they are always right. People do not drive business. Their money does. A firm’s main goal is to turn a profit among competing companies. Competition in business is fierce and companies always look to be the first to uncover ‘the next big thing’.  Once upon a time it was customer satisfaction, then it was marketing, and most recently, globalization.


This land is your land. However, today, the globe is a small place. No longer is globalization a ‘new’ area that companies are diving into, many are veterans and some are titans. An inconvenient truth is that the economy is no longer local, regional, or even national. An American based company that sells coffee cannot afford to ignore the political, labor, and environmental conditions of the African or South American Country that provides the coffee beans.


This land is my land. I was green before it was cool. McDonalds, a global titan, has a heavy focus on sustainability.  In Europe McDonalds sources 100% of its non-decaf coffee beans from farms that carry Rainforest certified beans (McDonalds). However, in America that number drops to 15%. Simply, American consumers are not yet interested, on a mainstream level, about sustainability.


This land was made for you and me. I foresee that sustainability, within the next decade, will be the new ‘it’ thing for companies. Once the ‘titan’ companies feel the effects of non-sustainable business practices via reduced profits. Hopefully brought on by consumers interested in a sustainable and renewable quality of life the rest of the smaller companies will follow in their footsteps.


The problem is competition and prices. Will consumers be willing to pay more for a cup of coffee if it comes from a sustainable bean? I don’t think so. Not until the attitude of the consumer base changes. Being sustainable means nothing to me if I do not understand it. I think what must first happen is a public perception shift away from the current one to a more environmentally conscious one. We can see the first ripples of this today. I am willing to pay a little more for organic fruit than non organic, I am willing to spend a little more money on clothes that are of better quality than not. I see this with many of my peers as well. It seems that money to today’s youth, as in the cost of products (to a degree) is not as important as it was to our parents. Fewer people I know today look at the cost of the product first. Rather they look for source, quality, and environmental sustainability when making their choices.


McDonald’s only has 15% its coffee beans sourced from rainforest certified suppliers not because it is a bad company, but because we as consumers do not demand them to. At the moment we simply cannot be bothered to care. This, I feel, will change.  The youth and 20somethings growing up around the country are a lot more community and people focused than our parents were. The world is becoming a warmer place.




What do you feel is the next step in sustainability and supply chain for companies?


Are you more interested in sustainable products, if so is pricing a big factor to you? Let’s say the product becomes about 5% more expensive.