When drones attack

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Gary Tetz
Gary Tetz

It's your job to think about the future, so we definitely need to talk about drones in long-term care. Not the one who delivered that boring 100-slide PowerPoint at your last facility all-staff. I mean the kind that will soon fill the skies of the future like a swarm of ravenous grasshoppers. 

I've been reading about their exciting possibilities for healthcare, and it got me wondering what efficiencies they could bring to our facilities. Drones doing med passes? Drones delivering doughnuts to nurses' stations?

Those were my initial thoughts, anyway — until one almost killed me at a local wedding. I was dutifully shooting video of the joyous event, when a drone operated by an apparent 12-year-old son of a wedding party member descended from the sky, hovering unblinkingly in front of me for a few seconds. Then, without warning of hostile intent, it attacked. 

The propellers first hit my torso, then spun their way up my camera-wielding arm. Just before reaching my neck and ending my life with its lethal blades, it finally stopped, dropping dead and broken to the ground at my feet. 

I crouched, stunned and embarrassed, dripping blood onto the pavement and dabbing my wound with an embossed wedding napkin. Since most of the guests were already several beverages into the evening, not many even noticed. But I still have scars — both emotionally and crisscrossing my wrist. No one knows why the drone went rogue.

In other words, we should approach this deadly technology cautiously. We already have electronic health records and wheels on med carts. Maybe that's enough innovation for now.

And if you're thinking of asking Chad from maintenance to fly a drone over your facility's fall picnic and get some fun aerial shots for Facebook, better first get those residents into helmets and pre-schedule an ambulance. 

It will be closely followed by a personal injury attorney — delivered by drone, of course.