Why the Right Questions Matter
The Amazing Difference
Jack is in the ER waiting for the physician to see his 14-year-old daughter. She was playing basketball for her middle school and took a charge, landing her on the ground. Her head snapped back and hit the floor—hard.
They were only waiting about ten minutes when the doctor came in. He asked Lindsey a few questions about what had happened and why, looking to Jack for affirmation since someone with a concussion might not provide the best of answers.
After his very thorough exam, the doctor said, “Young lady, it looks like you were lucky. You seem ok. Perhaps a minor concussion, but that’s it.” Then, turning to Jack, the doctor continued, “We’ll just do a quick CT-scan to make sure we’re not missing anything and you should be on your way in an hour.”
When they had first arrived at the ER, Jack’s phone had just buzzed. When he looked at it, he saw a pop-up message that read, “Hope everything is ok. Don’t let us slow you down if not. But if you’d like to talk to an ER physician right now, just click here.”
Jack didn’t want to wait for even a moment, so he declined the pop-up, but receiving it when he crossed the geo-fence for the hospital’s emergency room parking lot did serve as a good reminder that Amaze was there for him. While they were waiting for the doctor in the ER, Jack had opened up the Amaze app and reviewed the four questions he had learned to always be thinking about in class. He also reviewed a data sheet on concussions. So, when the doctor said it was a minor concussion and that they’d just do a “quick CT-scan,” Jack decided to ask a couple of questions. Specifically, he combined questions two and four to ask:
“Doctor, is there any alternative? What if we don’t do the CT-scan?”
The doctor seemed taken aback for a second, but responded quickly and asked, “Are you worried about paying for it?”
“No,” Jack replied. It’s just that while I don’t know the specifics, I know that any head CT-scan increases Lindsey’s chances of getting leukemia or brain cancer later in life. I’d just rather avoid it.”
Jack saw the expression on Lindsey’s face and immediately wished he had pulled the doctor aside to ask the question, but then he rethought that. She’s 14, he told himself. She should know these things, too.
The doctor answered Jack’s question by saying, “I don’t think it’s really all that important to do the CT-scan. If we don’t, I’d really like to keep Lindsey for an hour or so, just to observe that there’s nothing else going on.”
And with that, Jack thought to himself, without saying anything else to the doctor, “Wow! That’s all it took was a couple of questions? Really just one question. And we avoided thousands of dollars while getting better care because we didn’t expose Lindsey to radiation unnecessarily. Wow!”