Last week a physician shadowed me to see if there is anything I or my staff can do differently with my work flow with this new EHR. I was looking forward to having a forum to vent my complaints with the system and hopefully to have a way to fix it but nervous at the same time, not knowing what to expect, worried that they would have suggestions that would make me look a fool.
The physician who happened to come was one that had a hand in writing some of the new EHR templates. I was so disappointed in those templates that between you and me I actually cried in frustration in the first few weeks of our changeover. How could we be expected to do what we needed to do when these were the tools we were given to do it with? I told him that I did not like the templates, that I thought they S-U-C-K-E-D.
Yes, I used the word sucked and I cringe even now at the recollection. With that one word I dismissed all of the considerable time and effort he had poured into those templates.
Have you ever been so frustrated and nervous that unreasonable things just flow out of your mouth?
Of course you have.
Ever been on the receiving end of someone else’s frustration, as they vented like that?
Sure you have…
At times, when I feel passionately about something, my filter just ups and disappears. After listening to him tell me that I should hire a staff member to approve or reject all of my refills instead of doing it myself, after having him say that my desire to take and enter my own past medical and surgical histories was a waste of time, after being lectured that writing a narrative history of present illness was silly that I should be clicking buttons instead… I was no longer really hearing his words to me or my own responses back to him.
But I LIKE doing those things! Interacting with my patients is what makes medicine fun and rewarding for me.
It was not until days later that a realization hit me. He believes this stuff just as passionately as I believe that he is wrong. My response was not just unprofessional, it was mean. I try to have compassion and respect for all of my patients, even the difficult ones, but where was my compassion for him?
You need to be flexible. Medicine isn’t what it used to be. You have to adapt.
I don’t want him to be right.
I hate that he might be right.
And so I have spent this past week after reading his write up of our interaction licking my wounds, pondering the next step. What do I do from here?
The first thing, I believe, is to apologize. I don’t know that it will matter to him, but I need to apologize for me. I don’t want to be *that* person, the one who believes their rude behavior is justified.
And then? What then?
There is the question.