Yesterday at 11AM our EHR died. System wide. Hundreds of physicians and thousands of patients were affected.
What made it so especially infuriating was the fact that I was powerless to change it. I had sixty items on my virtual desktop that still needed addressing but I could do nothing about it. They were untouchable.
If I had known, I would have brought some knitting.
Anger and frustration compounded and multiplied as the promise that it would be fixed in 15 minutes became thirty minutes became hours. We had to reschedule patients because it was not safe: I had no idea what meds they were taking. Allergies? What other medical issues did they have? What kind of lab results did we get on their last check? When was their last check?
I wanted to hurt something.
I had a screw driver handy. I could drive it through the keyboard and screen over and over again until it was smoking and sparking but then I remembered that it was not going to do anything to those at fault for the whole debacle. What I really wanted was the hand of the individual responsible on the desk before me so I could drive my screwdriver through it into the wood below. It would cause significant pain but no permanent disability, right?
So instead, I bought my staff pizza. I blogged. And I paced back and forth.
At 5 PM, the EHR was back up. Just in time…..
……for going home.
Then the conspiracy theorist in me started to wonder. Was this all because of a cyber attack? Did our system go down because of an attempt to steal sensitive information? Who knows. Healthcare is vulnerable. Want to kill someone? Change their meds. Change their lab results. Change their allergy list.
At any rate, my eye is still twitching and the jaw clenching is causing my TMJ to flare up. Too bad drinking on the job is frowned upon…..