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.