The End and The Beginning

Yesterday was the last day I had to use our old electronic health record. I hate that thing. Loathe it. In fact, I am not quite sure there is a word in the English language that would adequately convey the depth of my negative feelings about that thing. If I could physically place that EHR behind the wheel of my truck and roll over it back and forth until it was pulverized, it would be very gratifying.

However, as I closed it out for the last time, my virtual desktop completely empty, I felt an odd sadness that I had not expected. I spent nine years learning how to play that game. I knew how to navigate the system, work around its weaknesses. It was familiar to me. I was comfortable because I knew what to expect. I knew how many clicks X, Y, and Z required. If I couldn’t print, I knew I needed to log out and try to get hooked up to a new server. I knew how to phenangle clicks to get credit for preventive care, even if it was laborious. I knew lab orders and imaging orders could get lost, how we needed to utilize a back up plan. I knew that no matter how much I complained about the screen blanking out periodically, or the eprescribe function sometimes not working, the help desk would always say that it was a “known problem” and there was no ETA on when it would be fixed, if ever.

On Monday, I will log into a completely different system. A better system. As I drove home yesterday I realized that I now felt more professional, more grown up, more like a “real” doctor. I felt taller in my seat, somehow.

Now I have a grown up EHR. 

Then a black cat sauntered across the street in front of me at a stop sign, mocking with his bright green eyes….

Seriously. It was eerie.

The reality is that I don’t know what the hell I am doing in the new system. The training sucked as all EHR training does. I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know where the holes are or how the work arounds need to function. I don’t know how to get credit for preventive care. Heck, I’m not even sure I can construct a coherent office note and we will be taking a hit financially due to the switch since the new system is more expensive and we have had to operate at reduced capacity due training requirements.

What is the future going to be like in my virtual world going forward? 


Black cats aren’t really bad luck, are they?


72 thoughts on “The End and The Beginning

  1. Heck with that, join the black cat and spread your own bad luck. Aside from that, it seems my office is always the lab rat for whatever new system the state concocts. Systems dreamed up by some accountant, but built by a computer guy who has no real idea what it’s supposed to accomplish. Good luck, and I really mean that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ll get through, Victo. Learning a new computer system just takes time – although, I admit, it’s usually stress-filled time. I only recently got so I feel comfortable with the system I had to learn on my new job – I still hate it, but at least I can use it. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wonder why they are changing the system now? Were they listening to complaints, or is this yet another scheme, to charge more, for something that may not be as good as the old system.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The charge does not differ but this system will capture charges automatically when they are entered. The old one, you had to print a piece of paper for everything and then it had to be manually entered into a separate charge posting system. Lots of human error. So in the end, there may be more money made. Hard to say until we see the $ breakdown over a few months. The truth of the matter is complicated but this system was embarrassingly inept and prone to errors and crashes. It was a bad decision nine years ago that should have been reversed pronto but it wasn’t. So we have limped along.

      Liked by 1 person

    • My logical brain knows that it won’t be as bad as I imagine it. These things never are. We get through them because we have to. We don’t have a choice. Still, there is that overly dramatic part of my brain that just cannot let go of the dread. 🙂


  4. I’ve never thought black cats were bad luck – an old witch tale? I’ll bet the new system will be like a new, upgraded computer – at first challenging, especially trying to find things, but soon you’ll be zipping along. Good luck nonetheless!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anything new scares the living daylights out of me. Then without being aware consciously that I have in fact conquered the fear and am swimming with the current instead of against it, I have that light bulb cat hugging moment of BINGO! Well hell that wasn’t as bad as having teeth pulled by an Orangutan with tweezers after all. Best of luck with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Black cats get a bad rap – they are just like any other feline. I owned one for seventeen years and he was the best guy ever, with no monumental bad luck befalling me. 🙂
    Good luck with the new system on Monday. May the learning curve be smooth!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Perseverance is key. At least your institution upgraded. I’m sure they only did it because it can code better for billing, therefore increasing revenue. Only the bottom line of money forces our medical institutions to spend any money.
    Your growing pains will get better in about 1 year, just remember to bring your migraine meds with you every day for that full year.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Is it EPIC? If so, it is a good system. Complex, with perhaps way more functionality than any PCP needs, but good as it unifies multiple separate systems. Yes, the training was useless, yes it takes a lot of time to get comfortable. I still struggle w ordering in-office meds. But you’re super smart and will master it…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so sorry, my friend. As a patient, I, too, miss the days when the doctor walked into the room, sat down, and we had an actual conversation where he/she paid attention rather than grumbling about the computer they were forced to type into while I spoke. It’s not their fault it had to be this way. The powers that be dictated it, and they felt as helpless as I grew to feel. Good luck! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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