Dark Days

pond before a rainstorm

So how was it? The first day of the new EHR?

If you really want to know… It was a cluster F**K with a capital “F”.

I don’t want to bore you with all of the gory details but suffice it to say some clinics had staff so frustrated they were just walking out, quitting on the spot. 

My staff is all coming back tomorrow. I think. I’d like to believe that pizza and slushies and chocolate helped but I am not sure there was anything that really could have made it better short of an electrical fire. A devastating electrical fire….

Hmmmm.

There’s always tomorrow.

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106 thoughts on “Dark Days

  1. Oh dear – sounds awful. I might stick to milking my cows – I write their records on the walls in chalk! (Sometimes marker if it is an important day.) Hope that these are only kinks? that can be ironed out maybe with an iron shaped like a sledge hammer? c

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh dear.

    I know of a clinic that keeps it’s staff by writing notes of encouragement with candy taped to them. I know, it’s corny, but it’s really hard to walk out on people who have glued gummy frogs to a note that says. Hopping you’ll have a good day.

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  3. You know, I’d love to know who comes up with these super complex software programs for the medical community. Our doctor’s office has a health portal that you have to sign into and I haven’t used it very much. I created an account and got signed in but to go in and try to retrieve information such as messages and so on is nearly impossible. These systems are certainly not designed with accessibility for the blind and visually impaired. My thought is, if the doctor has something he or she wants to tell me, they have my phone number and can give me a call. I actually use my smart phone to make and receive calls. The people who design these convoluted systems, from the doctors’ offices to the federal government to the school systems, are probably project managers and other nerdy software types who enjoy making people’s lives a living hell for eternity. and if you have a disability, you’re out in the cold more than the average person who doesn’t like the system just as much.

    I still prefer to call to order my pizza. Now isn’t that retro?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The portal we had before was a joke. And yes, my hearing impaired patients that really needed for it to work well could not get it to function as they needed for it to. At least this portal system seems better. Now the EHR, though, that remains to be seen. I wish they were all much more intuitive.

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  4. “…some clinics had staff so frustrated they were just walking out, quitting on the spot.” Wow. That’s some high level frustration. 😦 Sorry you have to deal with it.

    But, on the flip side, it’s bound to get better.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yikes! I can’t even imagine….Negative Nancy has been on edge for the past two weeks because we changed the check in/check out procedure. This would send her over the edge. Hang in there and in a few months it will be like second nature…..hopefully. πŸ™‚
    Ps the treat were a thoughtful touch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I cannot give an accurate assessment of the system for a few months, until I get the hang of things better, but the implementation process could have been smoother… I don’t know how my staff is holding it together. Personally, I wanted to stab something with a pointy object until it hemorrhaged… I didn’t, but if something presented itself and I would not have gotten myself arrested…. πŸ˜‰

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  6. I wonder about the people who walked out, if they were not supported and encouraged by their supervisors/team. Part of me admires them. But I hope all your staff hangs in there and it gets better. On the other hand, if it doesn’t get better, maybe if enough people complain/revolt/strike? those responsible for this mess will get a clear message that people are not just going to put up with unreasonable conditions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I knew exactly what drove those that walked out to walk out. The training was terrible, that I do know. And the work load for everyone has tripled. So much more crap to do. It is hard on everyone.

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      • If enough people feel as you do, you could all organize and present your demands for more intensive support/training. There should be some kind of group to fight this. This is the type of thing that pushed me to early semi-retirement and it just makes me so mad that helping professionals have to put up with this BS. Take care!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry that it sucked today, and sorry that it will likely suck for some time. Too bad you couldn’t just have pretend patients for a while, as I bet they will also have something to say soon enough. Here’s to carb and crap food overload, a perfect time what with all the holiday’s coming over the next few months πŸ˜‰

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    • Patients were not very gracious today, and I don’t blame them. We were already operating at 1/3 of our usual schedule and we were still running an hour or two behind. If we had known, we could have adequate prepared patients and ourselves for it. As it was, when we realized how bad it was going to be, we started calling the preventive care patients asking them if they would be willing to reschedule. Yay for holiday binge eating, though! You are right. That will really help. πŸ™‚

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    • Training could have been better. Why they felt the need to teach a pediatric diabetes visit (which is handled by pediatric endocrinologists and not primary care) and not something useful like a well child visit, I will never know.

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  8. Ah the working life! It brings such joy and personal rewards. Except of course for the days it doesn’t, when it rips out just enough of your heart to keep you alive. It’s never the patients who are really the problem. You have my empathy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. OHHHHH …. I feel your pain. Our last “upgrade” was such a disaster and that was only the medication portion of our EMR…. Three months later and we are still dealing with issues. One of the big problems is that you have IT people teaching a program that deals with humans. IT people do not factor that in and are totally blinded to what it is actual like to work with the ” system” and people at the same time. They see “bugs” in the system, and say it will get fixed next upgrade….. whereas the truth is “bugs” equate to not being able to do your job.
    We too are to face a EPIC change (snicker, pun intended) in about two years but they keep moving it out. Hopefully, it will stall until after I am retired.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What gets me is that they had physicians in charge of it. Physicians sat on the various committees. At any point one of them could have stood up and said, “We need fix this and this and this.” But they didn’t. That bothers me.

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  10. I once spent a week scanning three shoeboxes worth of crumpled ECG (EKG) readouts into the appropriate patient files even though a, perhaps unsurprising, number of those patients had long since passed on to a, hopefully better organised, afterlife. Worse than that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Thank you. My office manager was spouting cheerful platitudes yesterday and I really wanted to rip his throat out. I got to turn it into a teaching moment. In suffering we want commiseration, apologies, or someone fixing the problem and not perky platitudes. I know this intuitively from working with patients. You don’t say, “you have cancer but man is this going to be a fun ride for you!”

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  11. I can understand that electronic health record software can be poorly designed. My own PCP bought a system that is very poor. It is the opposite of what it should be, which is intuitive to use and enabling of clear communication between doctor and patient. But, I submit, it would be wrong to blame the concept because of bad implementation. That would be like blaming the concept of books because one was written poorly. I suspect that whoever purchased this EHR failed to do due diligence in the process.

    Many medical errors involve poor record keeping and miscommunication and software seems like the obvious answer to me. I have already seen a virtually foolproof system for dispensing medication at our hospital. It involves a computer on wheels and bar codes on the patients’ wrists. But, no matter the system, it will always be GIGO (garbage in equals garbage out.)

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  12. May I ask which EHR it is?

    Also, that experience seems really odd. I’ve had several clients convert to / switch EHR’s, and while it’s not perfect, clinical-side things seem to generally go okay. I primarily work with finance who seem to get shafted, both by the inherent design, the configuration, and the training. So while the various patient-service departments all say, “Yeah it went fine. Pretty good, actually,” finance is up to their eyeballs in irregularities and other issues.

    If your clinical stuff went bad, that is abominably bad EHR implementation. Not sure if it helps or hurts to know that you’re not crazy and you did have it bad, but there you are.

    My sympathies!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So today was day one of a holy s****t EHR. Count your blessings that your staff
    stuck it out with you. Keep the chocolate & pizza, start the day with muffins &
    donuts. Maybe fruit too, for the real diehard weight watchers.
    You lost weight, don’t worry about having a few extra carbs.
    Good luck Victo.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh goodness gracious, I read your post and just cringed for you. So sorry,
    people who buy programs to save time & money, should at least have
    staff help in the investigatory process. Maybe they will toss the whole thing
    and buy a better workable program.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m laughing right now, but not in a “funny haha kind of way”, more like “I’m freaking out and have no way of showing it, other than to laugh inappropriately kind of way,” because we are about to change EMR’s before December….during flu season….HAHAHahahaha aaaahhhhh uuuugggggh…..hang in there doc….

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  16. Hoo boy. Do I feel for you. I’ve been there and done that at the VA back in the 90’s but we did have some prep classes but I didn’t get much from them. Of course the VA system was/is differed from the one that is causing you hair loss and virtual nightmares. But it was tough and I learned from nurses and ward clerks that were computer savvy.

    It will take time to learn all the ins and outs of a new system but in the meantime- stay strong. :-

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  17. my sympathies…. we’re in our 3rd week of our second “new” EMR….. husband told me tonight he wants to quit too, and everyone dreads going to the office tomorrow. 😦

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    • Have you mentioned to me which EMR? I am curious. People who have used EPIC elsewhere as recently as a few months ago have been reeling over how different and user unfriendly our version is. It appears we have been screwed by our own people.

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      • we just switched from EMD’s to ECW…. our cheap group didn’t get EPIC because we didn’t qualify for the big enough discount. I have used EPIC for many years from place to place, I wonder if you are using a version without the latest upgrades?? No matter what though…..it all just adds on time to your day, and lots of hoops to jump through to get anything ordered. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, that sucks. I use it for all the CCF facilities I round in, and it’s so user friendly and easy to navigate. It actually makes SENSE. Not like how I had to spend 20 minutes this week finding the special code word to order an xray :/

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  18. I hope CTRL + ALT + Delete are still effective.

    At worst the new system leads to many instances of blue screen of death or Vista-like crashes where the computer freezes and then crashes. I remember at one of my old schools we had to make screen grabs/pictures, copy them to images or PDF and then store those files as back-ups in case the information system would crash and the servers failed to save the changes.

    I left that school…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. There is. A tomorrow. Always. (Until you die that is)
    But… i have read so many times about your frustration…
    You cannot be the toy of a system.
    A system that has your staff quit.
    You must get the upper hand back.
    One way or the other you cannot let something else determine your fate.
    Am I making sense here, Victoire? You need to recover control.

    Liked by 1 person

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