Sometimes when your practice technology leaves you disconnected, the day becomes longer and the solutions need to come faster to get patients the care they expect.
Just when I was worried that I would not have a topic for my blog this week, something just fell into my lap. Or more appropriately, it came crashing down on my head.
It was a typical Friday morning. Friday is our "short day" - we start late and finish early. That gives me time to catch up on paperwork and phone calls. Alas, this time, it was not to be.
I went to work early like I normally do, switched on my tablet computer and much to my dismay, was unable to connect to our network. I tried another tablet. Same thing. Tried a desktop - no problem. I called our EHR support and got voicemail. I left a message. I called our IT people. Same thing. I did a little work on the desktop, then realized it was getting close to time for the first patient. I called EHR support again. I called IT again. During all these calls, I had already done the tried and true - turn it off, unplug it and turn it back on - to no avail. I called IT and finally got a human. We tried to fix things. We did the unplug/replug thing again. We clicked, we pushed buttons, and we waved magic wands. When it was obvious that things would not be resolved immediately, I decided to leave IT guy to his own devices while I went and saw patients and gasp wrote my notes on paper.
Since the desktops were working, I had my staff print out the patients' last progress notes and most recent labs. I was unable to see my "tasks" - my electronic to-do list - so I periodically asked my staff if there were any urgent messages.
I was more than a little perturbed by the whole situation, but once I resigned myself to the idea of coming back to the office after picking up the kids and dropping them off at their designated after camp activities, I was calmer. Once I was done with patients and my MA left, I took over her desktop and took care of the most pressing messages. I picked up the kids, dropped them off, came back to the office and started tackling entering my notes and caching up on other tasks. I didn't quite finish before it was time to pick up the kids again, so I had to finish the rest at home. It was well after 10 p.m. before I called it quits.
And what happened with our wireless? We thought it was fixed, but it's not. My husband/biller/plumber/electrician/all-around-emergency-helper spent a significant amount of time this weekend wiring our exam rooms with Ethernet cables. I still want the wireless fixed, but since we have patients starting at 8 a.m. on Monday, I know it won't be ready in time.
Funny, I found out last night that a friend of mine had phone troubles yesterday. They couldn't make outgoing calls from his office all day. It wasn't Friday the 13th. Maybe it was the full moon.
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