I was working at JFK Airport in New York when the fire chief said “my wife and I have been having the same argument for the last 30 years”. The fact is problems exist everywhere. Most healthcare have the following two problems: staffing and missing appointments. For example, your caregiver does not show up for their visit and that will not change. If you are lucky, instead of complete no-shows, you get last minute caregiver cancellations. It goes something like this “my car broke down…” Of course, the excuse has to be reasonable. Something that can happen at the last minute just like they do not want to go to work at the last minute. The fact is their pay rate is low. For example, HHA most likely gets paid around $15 per hour and of course they are always struggling with their bills.

Get an Early Jump on Last Minute Cancellations

Here is the fact, you cannot increase their rate because if you do it for one person, you have to do it for everyone. Trust me, they all talk. Word of the new pay rate will spread within a day. What do you do? Use a software like On-call Ma to resolve this. Let them fight a computer that can talk to millions of people at the same time. Want to cancel your visit, not a problem. On-call Ma will find someone who is willing to work on that day. It solves the problem of last minute caregiver cancellations.

Patient and caregiver always will have their wants. Such as the patient needing a caregiver to live their life, using the bathroom, or getting their weekly food. Caregivers want to get paid more, but do not want to work for it. Even home care schools for certification have a hard time convincing their students to get the next certification such as CNA and increase their pay. Employers trying to figure out how we can come to a middle ground such as using On-call Ma. We all have problems, but somehow we need to meet each other in the middle ground. “My wife thinks that she won, but I know this battle is going to last until one of us dies. It is ok with me because I love her.”

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God said, “Let there be light”. In my previous posting, I talked about what a computer can and cannot do, such as come up with truly random numbers. The Terminator movie series attempts to explain the limitations of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI cannot just figure out how the unique gift that God gave us, the right to choose, works. It is unpredictable and random on so many levels. The movie The Devil’s Advocate explains even God’s son, the Devil, could not predict the nature of human beings.

As I help develop On-call Ma, I face the problem of predicting scenarios to find caregiver replacement. There are many scenarios and randomization. For example, On-call Ma text caregiver if she wants a job. The caregiver decided to respond back 3 days later, but by that time we already had found a replacement. We have to teach our AI chatbot about predicting scenarios.  Teach it to send a “?” text after a few minutes to remind the caregiver to respond to us. There are factors such as motivation paying a major role. The post Caregiver: Where is my MONEY explains a little.

These challenges I face to solve on-demand caregiver replacement problems is one out of many reasons to give up. As I face one problem after another, I must remind myself that “Life Is a Journey, Not a Destination.”

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Brain Off Switch is Meditation
The English interpreter sitting at the Main Tibetan Temple watching His Holiness the Dalai Lama on TV during the teachings in Dharamsala, HP, India on May 16, 2020. Photo by Lobsang Tsering

The human brain has no on/off switch. Since we were born, our brain never turned off until we move on to the next life. The Quran, the Bible, and other sources of religion explain why that may be so. Even if we cannot turn off our brain 100%, there are ways to relax our brain. It is a proven fact that stress level does impact the health of the brain resulting in overall health issues.

In my experience of solving customer’s problems do require creativity and creativity do require the mind to relax so it can focus. However, most of the time business owners do not invest in tools to relax and maintain our minds. As Dalai Lama said “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.” I have one CEO tell me that “what does he know, he never had to work in his life”. I think both cases are valid, such as getting a stroke because of stress or maybe spend thousands of dollars on a therapist.

Brain’s Off Switch is Meditation

In many ways investing in religion is investing on your mind and body. For example, Islam praying 5 times a day is a form of medication. One form of meditation is spending 10 minutes of your time just focusing on one thing. One common focus is sitting in one place, close your eyes, and focus on the tip of your nose. Sometimes you lose track of focusing on your nose and you may need to breathe harder to bring your focus back.

In Islam, praying also means focusing on words you repeat over and over from the Quran. Those words are exact text within the Quran written in the Arabic language. Imagine praying 5 times a day where you relax your brain for 10 minutes over your entire lifetime. This type of investment does help keep your mind in better shape than you did not meditate. In fact, it might save you a lot of money by not going to a therapist.

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One of Spock’s famous lines from Star Trek is “that is quite logical”. We are in a modern age where Artificial intelligence (AI) is mastering the art of logic. Many people do not understand AI, and even the programmers who are developing AI do not understand the logic AI producing. For example in On-call Ma software, we are using AI to determine if we need to find a caregiver replacement, we are not sure how AI is using the data to figure out when to start the process of finding a replacement. According to our statistics, we know the accuracy is improving over time. The more AI listens to the conversation between on-call coordinator and the caregiver or the client, the more it improves on to determine when a call-out or canceled appointment happened.

One of the issues that On-call Ma have that we as human beings also have is making an assumption. Sometimes we draw a conclusion based on listening to only part of the communication. For example, a caregiver calls in. They leave a message their car is not working and cannot make their appointment. Most coordinators know that caregivers usually use the car scenario to cancel the visit because they do not want to go to work. However, there are cases where caregivers would call back, state the car is fixed, and able to make the visit. By the time the caregiver notifies the agency of their status, On-call Ma already found a replacement.

This type of assumption can cause issues where the client feels they are receiving poor service. However, On-call Ma is still young and it has a lot of time to learn. As Spock would say “live long and prosper.”

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