Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Don't Have A C. O. W!!

If you were asked what is quicker..the pen or the computer..would you believe me if I said the pen? We found that out at our little hospital this week on what I will call "Black" Monday. We went to all computerized medical charting. Sounds like a good idea right? The Government must think so because it will be required by law in 2014. I mean, would we be steered wrong by the Government?? This has taken many months to get set up. First there was the training of some of the staff to be "super users".They took special training on the system our hospital chose to use. Then they in turn trained the rest of the hospital on all the ins and outs. I can't go into all the workings of this because as a surgical technologist I don't really have to know a whole lot about using what we call a on wheels. I'm the scrub nurse who works with the Docs doing the surgery and I don't have to chart. I'm thanking the Good Lord every day for this. Our productivity will be cut in half for about 2 weeks while all the kinks are worked out and all the staff is knowledgeable about using the COWS. After that, we will get more up to speed, but never as quick or as busy as we were using paper. So what does this mean? It means our hospital spent 9 million bucks to do will take 12yrs to recoup it..and we will not make as much money or be able to help as many patients as before. Will this mean only the sickest will get treated first?..only the richest? only the most insured? Well, this is a new age and we don't know all the answers but I think I will not be as sad to retire someday..and I will always be grateful that I knew what it was like to work with Doctors who were allowed to practice good medicine and help people get well..Nurses who were allowed to provided patient care, not computer care, patients who were allowed to have procedures they needed done, and not be denied care by an insurance company. Docs who did not have to be computerized technicians who must take extra hours to log in and out. Doctors who actually could look you in the eye while they talked with you about your health concerns without a laptop in front of them while they click away never looking up at you. We have advanced in many areas of surgical care. I've been privileged to see this also. I have worked with and still do work with a great group of people who love what they do, are smart and quick thinkers, and who are trying to embrace this new way of charting with the hope that it will eventually be mastered so they can do what they do and love best...taking care of people.

Meet the C. O. W:

Because of the time it takes for data entry there is lots of Operating Room bed just waiting to be filled..just sitting around empty and getting colder by the minute..just sitting there not earning it's keep!
There is lots of this...a surgery case all set up in an empty OR room just waiting for the patient to be ready..and all the computer data entered. It's been taking about an hour between cases to have all the info logged in. Hopefully someday it will go smoother, and quicker. It's already better today than it was on "black" Monday.
Some other things you will see...a nurse (Donna..Starkey Hollow)working while all around her are the other nurses (see Jen in the background) are logging stuff into the computer. And I guarantee that it's not a blog post!
So what's going on while the sheets get cold? This...sitting, waiting, and looking at the new electronic scheduling board. It tells us what surgeries are being done, where the patient is in the whole process, when the cases start, when they stop, and who won Wimbledon...OK, so I'm just kidding about the tennis.
Anyone out there ever live in the country? What do country kids do when they get bored? Ever hear of "Cow tipping"? Ok Kris..knock it off! If you don't know what cow tipping it.
Here's Becky...She's one of our "Super Users"..she's a go-to computer know it all..when personnel is having a "cow" and gets stuck, she comes a running with the answers! Or just to get yelled at! Just keep on smiling girlfriend!
So where does all this computer business leave me?...Right here in my own little literary world. Dr. M came in the break room on the first day of the "go live" computer disaster and he found me doing this..his words were "Look at you Starko..all relaxed, reading a book, enjoying the day..." All I could say was "You betcha baby!" Now just go and leave me alone before I have a cow.


karen said...

I talk to hospitals and doctor's offices all day long that are trying to do this same thing. It's painful, but hopefully things will go more smoothly as time goes on. We can only hope, right?

acorn hollow said...

I am feeling the same way as you are. when I walk in the Dr office she comes in with a computer and is typing the whole time she is asking questions. I want to scream look at me I am a person. I hate it so much. I believe she missed Husband's issue because she was so focused on what the computer was telling her she didn't take time to look and listen with her brain. And I get what the kindle is about but not for me I want a book in my hands.
I love my computer but where should it stop?

Sue said...

My daughter works for a physician who is actually retiring a couple of years early just because he doesn't want to make this change!

I kinda feel sorry for my son that he will have missed the "old days."

(But at least he won't have to make this transition because it'll already be a done deal...)


Stacy Crawford said...

Transitions are always the hardest because you've worked out the kinks on the old way!

It is amazing the technological know how that people must have for their jobs in all fields. I have a ton of tech stuff I need to know how to do.

As for empty nesting, Kyle and I are young enough that we will have some great years of getting to know each other because we had our kids so fast. This way if all goes well we should get to see great, great grandchildren.

Glad that you are getting some good reading in. Hope things will be back up to speed soon.

Donna said...

When these changes happen, you have to wonder about the political motivation and realization of what they are doing. However, it was REALLY nice to hear the out-of-state computer gurus say that our surgery and our hospital transitioned better than any they had ever been to!

Deb Shucka said...

Sometimes it seems progress takes us in directions we really don't want to go. My brother who is a doctor is also looking forward to retiring soon because he feels like he's being regulated out of the job he's loved for years.

It was great seeing all the pictures of your work life.

I'm not sure how I feel about living in a world where cows aren't black and white eating grass and giving milk. :-)

Donna said...

PS....I look like a Macy's Day parade balloon...tx!!

Mrs Catch said...

It's great seeing your work environment. So interesting!

Sounds like there are a few kinks to be worked out though. Hopefully it will get better with time.

Bonnie said...

My hospital switched to the computerized system last year, and it must have taken them 2 or 3 years to get it implemented. It was a ridiculously long process. I can see the benefit of it, but I can also see where the pen would be a bit quicker.
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Cheryl said...

Here's hoping this one gets sorted out in a hurry. If your waiting lists for surgery are as long as ours it certainly needs to - wait - maybe that's why our waiting lists are so long? If they can make it fast I can see the benefit but they seem to add complexity not remove it... good luck!