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).