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The Compass - - Editorial -

There are as­pects of the pa­per­less world that are clear wins - and there are oth­ers that make you stop and say, “I can see this go­ing wrong.” In the “clear wins” col­umn? Au­to­mated tele­phone calls from Eastern Health to re­mind pa­tients of sched­uled di­ag­nos­tic test like scans. Sure, you get a let­ter telling you that you have an ap­point­ment months in ad­vance, but the let­ters go astray, and Eastern Health ends up with no-shows that add strain to the health-care sys­tem. Now, au­to­mated calls days be­fore your ap­point­ment to make sure the date’s fresh in your mind.

“The Au­to­mated No­ti­fi­ca­tion Sys­tem will pro­vide a re­minder dur­ing the week be­fore a pa­tient’s sched­uled ap­point­ment so that pa­tients may con­firm an ap­point­ment and carry out any prepa­ra­tions needed,” Eastern Health’s web­site says. “If a pa­tient in­forms the health au­thor­ity that they are un­able to at­tend the ap­point­ment, this will al­low other pa­tients to be booked in any un­filled ap­point­ment slots.”

A win in­deed - fill­ing all the slots makes the health-care sys­tem that much more ef­fi­cient, and could even save lives in the process.

A lit­tle less in the win­ning col­umn?

April is the last month that that the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Reg­is­tra­tion divi­sion will be send­ing out its an­nual ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tion forms and its fiveyear re­newal no­tices for your driver’s li­cence.

From now on, the only no­ti­fi­ca­tion method will be by email, in an ef­fort to cut costs.

“Re­newal no­tices gen­er­ate ap­prox­i­mately 10,000 pounds of waste an­nu­ally. Dis­con­tin­u­ing send­ing these re­minders by mail will save re­sources, en­ergy and money,” the divi­sion says.

Most peo­ple prob­a­bly do pretty much the same thing: open their re­newal en­ve­lope and leave it some­where ob­vi­ous, on a kitchen counter or in their home of­fice, un­til they ac­tu­ally get around to mail­ing in their cheque or go­ing on­line to pay for their reg­is­tra­tion.

Three weeks from now, that’s over and done with.

It is your re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure that your li­cence and reg­is­tra­tion are up to date. Your li­cence has an ex­piry date right on the front, and your reg­is­tra­tion ex­pires at the end of the month shown on your li­cence plate sticker.

But, when things hap­pen once a year - or worse, once ev­ery five years - they have a way of slip­ping off the radar.

Sign up for the email no­ti­fi­ca­tion, and hope against hope that it doesn’t get au­to­mat­i­cally sent to your spam mail­box by ac­ci­dent.

In all like­li­hood, a fair num­ber of peo­ple will find out the hard way that their li­cence has ex­pired: when they’re pulled over for a traf­fic of­fence or as they fu­tilely try to board a flight us­ing their li­cence as photo ID. Just imag­ine if you’re in an ac­ci­dent, even a mi­nor one, and dis­cover you’re ac­tu­ally an un­li­cenced driver.

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