The Simple Things

In business school I was introduced to the concept of KISS, no not the rock band but a management perspective designed to help processes remain on track:  KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID.  The author’s view was that while all businesses are complex organisms, if management could literally keep things as SIMPLE as possible the greater the probability the individual jobs would be completed successfully, and when “added up”, the organization’s mission would have a greater probability of success. 

What does KISS have to do with Non-Emergency Medical Transportation?  In a word, “everything”.  NEMT transportation providers and their individual drivers work in a hyper credentialled world (think RED TAPE and far from KISS).  Further, their work environments are in a constant state of transition due to the traffic, weather, passenger malady, required level of assistance and more.  Again, far from KISS.

So, if we live and work in this complex world, how do we use the concept of KISS in our NEMT transportation business?  We all know that insurance costs are a major expense for transportation providers and the number one reason businesses fail.  As a result, we have to focus on what drives the cost of insurance keeping in mind that insurance companies are not philanthropic and commercial automobile is the worst performing line of insurance they write.

The industry we work in is hazardous, we are in fact transporting people with known medical maladies.  We really have no ability to change that, but we do have the ability to absolutely control three things that if done properly will ensure the highest probability for our success:

  1. Wear our seat belts and remind all passengers to do the same, constantly.  This one simple act saves lives and limits physical injury when a vehicle is in an accident.
  2. Obey the speed limit.  Purposefully focus on obeying the speed limit.  It’s going to seem weird and slow initially as we’re constantly conditioned to exceed the speed limit.
  3. Allow for appropriate following distance.  We are advised to allow for a car length spacing for every 10 MPH.  If you’re travelling 50 MPH you should have 5 vehicle lengths of space between your vehicle and the vehicle you are following, allowing you the necessary reaction time for whatever is happening in front of your vehicle.  The number one type of automobile accident is the rear end collision, which can be avoided by allowing proper following distance.

If we focus on KEEPING IT SIMPLE STUPID in these three ways, we will have a much-heightened probability of operating our business successfully and keeping the world safer while doing so.

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