Is It Safe?

It’s funny.  I’m a physician who has done thousands of invasive procedures and each time I perform a procedure, I have a conversation in which we discuss the risks and benefits.  There are always risks.  The insurance industry understands this.  The financial managers understand this, but sometimes, it seems like America doesn’t.

Last night I barbecued steak.  I watched my youngest son cut his steak (he’s really not very good with cutting) and made sure that he cut the pieces to a small enough size.  Later, one of my older sons grabbed some steak after a lacrosse game.  I was in the kitchen and heard him choke.  I ran towards him to do the heimlich (I’ve never done it in real life and NEVER wanted to do it on my child) when he coughed up a large piece of meat.  Did I have a discussion with him about the risks of eating, but 2500 people die each year from choking, only 200 less than die from fire. We drive to work (42,000 deaths per year) and, in Florida, go swimming (2,000 deaths per year)  Risk is all around us.

Now, I hear concerns raised about the safety of sharing economy services like Uber, Airbnb, and my company, Room2Care.  Who are these people providing these services?  Who was the guy driving the taxi who picked you up when you lifted your arm in the air.  Because Yellow Cab hired him, I should accept that he is somehow better than the next guy?  The next guy has reviews.

I used to be afraid shopping on eBay.  Who are these people?  I’d rather go to the little store near me.  Over time I realized that I have no idea what the last customer in that store felt about his shopping experience, but I can see, in a simple dashboard what the last 5,000 people felt about this operation in China that sells iPad chargers.  The guy in China has 4 1/2 stars.  Is he really riskier than the local store.

At Room2Care, we background check all care givers and all care recipients.  Everybody reviews everybody else.  Who is the night nurse at the hospital?  Do you know what her last ten patients thought about her before you let her in your room?

While there is risk in all activity, it is essential that any company that is looking to establish a brand that you trust do everything possible to minimize your exposure to risk.  And remember, little pieces of steak are best.