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Healthcare Reboot Hits BSOD

For years, the biggest single complaint everyone had with Microsoft’s Windows operating system was its infamous “Blue Screen of Death.” It became known simply (and affectionately) as BSOD. Lost data aside, it always meant a complete system “reboot” was required. That usually entailed pressing the “CTRL+ALT+DEL keys,” so it also became known in the software community as the “three-finger-salute.” Even if the middle finger wasn’t used physically – offering one at the offending (and offensive) BSOD was common practice.

Those days are (mostly) history, but the online experience for many last week was reminiscent of Microsoft’s cryptic system message as millions flooded the largely untested ”public health insurance exchanges” (HIX’s). For some it was an attempt to either find out information (say for budgeting), see what the experience looked like, or to actually enroll in healthcare coverage (as required by the law itself).

Thankfully, BSOD’s aren’t really applicable online. The closest we typically have (or see) is the occasional (and sometimes funny) ”404 – Page Not Found.”

While I didn’t hear of any actual pages “not found,” the experience for many last week was effectively the same. Complaints of long waits, multiple retries, blank screens and abandoned efforts were widespread – and still evident today (10/14). For those of us who survived Y2K (and it’s 5 year run-up) without much of a hiccup, last week was a kind of software pay back (and yes, with a capital B).

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