In the interest of full disclosure on the EMR

It occurs to me I have exposed myself to a potential charge of a conflict of interest here, and want to clear the air.  (Dang, and right after having been okayed for the Healthcare Blogger Code of Ethics, proudly displayed in the right sidebar: they may want it back, and I’m not kidding about that).

I hadn’t meant to talk about which EMR we’re using, but in the excitement I did.  We’re using EPIC, which is pretty good, and I’m perfectly happy with 85% of it, and the rest we all want to tweak.

I am a paid consultant to our hospital ownership groups’ EPIC steering committee, and have input into what goes into order sets, etc.  It takes 2 hours once a month, so I’m not going to retire (or even vacation) on the income, but I do get money for working on the project.  I can tell you  I signed an NDA about what we do specifically, I don’t own stock or get any other money from these efforts, and I don’t work directly for EPIC on this.  I don’t want my discussion of our EMR to cross any ‘talking up a commercial product that he’s getting money from’ line, thus the disclosure.

So now you know.  I don’t consider it a conflict, but you can be your own judge of that.

My first day with an EMR

Is tonight (Friday night).  Our overnight shift, which on a Friday night can run from busy to very very busy.

The ‘switchover’ is at midnight, though for various technical reasons we won’t be fully electronic until after 3AM, so it’ll be a mixed environment of paper and electrons.  I volunteered for this shift, so it’ll be a lot of fun.

I am cautiously optimistic, and we’ve given ourselves a big advantage: we’ve doubled up on scribes and we’ve “borrowed” them from places that already use the EMR (we’re on Epic, but it could be any system), and that should ease the transition.  That, plus all the official tech helpers coming for the first 15 days.

We’re pretty well prepared for this, though it’s been described as starting a new job: I know the medicine but the ‘how’ and the ‘what are the cues we’re done’ are different.  It’s billed as being mildly or very inefficient, though that’s supposed to get better with experience.

I’ll let you know.

Update: The transition wasn’t smooth.  There were much longer delays at each step that had been anticipated, the end result of which was the our 4AM doc was really the first doc to see the majority of their patients on the EMR.

It didn’t help that the ED was a total zoo.  People will not stop having emergencies for us to smooth over our little technical problems.  Imagine.  (Yes, that was sarcastic, DWL).