Should You Ignore Citizen Expectations?

I’m having my first child in 5 weeks (but I, I mean my wife is doing all the real work).

So I’m in the process of looking for a pediatrician.

As a technologist, one of my questions I keep on asking potential pediatricians is:

-Do you have an electronic records system? How am I able to gain access to my kids electronic file (if need to access it while traveling or just want to look up the last specific vaccine test)

What’s been interesting is 3 pediatricians in – they all look at me as I’m crazy.

Most of them have heard of electronic records and either have it or getting it.

But none of them know how it works and all thing I’m crazy that I want access to the electronic file (today’s mentioned that to get access to my kids’ electronic file that they’d print out all the pages and hand it to me).

I understand I may be early on this curve but I think this trend is coming where all individuals and parents will want access to the electronic health record in the same way we have electronic access to our retirement accounts, savings account, and store documents in the cloud.

Which got me thinking – governments face this problem all the time – trying to meet citizens increasing expectations and trying to tease out what will be a trend they should invest in (vs a small niche).

I’d recommend a three prong approach:

1) Gather input – as citizens come to your agency with requests, make sure they are being collected in a structured manner. Also make sure you are doing regular survey of your users (both when they are in your office or via email newsletters and surveys). Monitor trends of what other government agencies are doing. Stack rank this input on a regular basis according to demand, cost, and ROI.

2) Beta-test – After you’ve gathered there’s some preliminary interest (maybe directly from citizens, maybe you see other agencies moving forward), dip your toes with a beta test. It doesn’t have to be a huge test but it should be significant enough that you can confirm at end if it worked or not (see pilot of 15 ipads vs just 1 ipad)

3) Make a Decision – Beta periods shouldn’t last forever. At some point, you have to decide whether to go all in or it’s not worth the energy. If you go all in, use this time to see if you can cut something at same time. The best approach if possible is the closet approach my mom taught me – for every new shirt you buy, you have to throw one out.

How should government decide what expectations to ignore? Which one to note and wait for growth? And which ones to jump on right away?

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Carol Davison

Isn’t it our job to ignore some expectations so we can accomplish others? For example we develop competency models for mission critical occupations (mcos) and not others. We offer training is those mcos. We might even giving recruiting and retention bonuses to them. The other occupations don’t receive the same services because there are too few of them to make it worth the Departments while to manage the development of systemically Isn’t that how you want me to manage training? Or do you really expect me to systemically develop the one ….say graphic artist at the Department Commerce?

By the way the VA/DOD has electronic records. Maybe you could call them to see if one of the doctors continued electronic records after he left the government.