Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Not sure this post is about services directly, but hear what happened to me yesterday.

Last week my wife had an MRI scan (no worries, all is fine, thanks for asking) so we went to hear the results and conclusions yesterday. After going trough all the detailed results the docter proposed to try a kind of medicine (no worries, as said, all is fine). She remembered the medicine has some by-effects but couldn't remember them exactly. Something with "orange" and "stripes".

So she went on the hospitals portal to find the drug leaflet, found it and .... no hit. The by-effects were not mentioned. Hmmmm.

So she went on to the manufacturers website to find more specific details and ... no hit. Some by-effects mentioned but not this one. Hmmmm.

As a last resort, she tried Google, typing in the full name of the diagnosis, four very scrabble-worthy Latin-like words and .... lets try the first hit. Hmmmm, no succes.

Meanwhile she muttered, I guess I will have to go to Wikipedia and indeed the 5th hit was a Wikipedia page on exactly the abovementioned scrabble term. And indeed, there is was. The by-effect was neatly desribed and the advice was "propably you won't like the taste of Cola anymore". Hmmmm.

So I got very curious and asked her: does this happen often? The reply was as expected. Yes, wikipedia-pages are often more accurate than the internal hospital system, simply becuase thousands of medical professionals share facts and insights this way.

Hmmmm. What does this example mean for services innovation or innovating services. It looks like the docters service to us depended on a good piece of EXTERNAL infrastructure that was built by a collective effort of thousands of very serious professionals. I would love to hear more of these kind of examples of services being dependent on efforts of external networks.

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