Monday, May 21, 2012

RIP, Paper ER Records....We Will Miss You

After months of hype, our ER will join the rest of the world in the 21st century and initiate electronic health records.  Let the spinning begin.

 It is an already out-dated program, cumbersome, not user-friendly, and fits awkwardly with our existing systems...when it works. The roll-out date is soon. Very soon.  I agreed to be the super-user for our building, mainly because it is my 4th ER to have worked at when the electronic records have been the new is better not to rely on anyone else's wits but my own when it comes to computers.

I would say we are probably the last health care facility in the free world to finally put this into practice. As with any New Thing, the first thing people want to know is:  how will this affect me, personally?
Well, the simple answer is that electronic health records in my universe will not do two things: it will not lessen my work load or decrease my current responsibilities and it will not mean I have lots and lots of free time to spend with patients. Triage, which I can normally accomplish in under 3 or 4 minutes, will now take about 20 minutes.  There goes your door-to-doc time.  Of course the new plan is to put patients immediately into a treatment rooms, fill 'em up with unregistered patients, add lots of confusion about who is where and then have no place to put a cardiac patient.  But hey, overall that should really help those all-important patient satisfaction scores.  Naturally, electronic records should mean a lot less paper work, right?  Wrong.  We will have approximately 1/2 metric fu*k ton more when all is said and done.

There is much fear and loathing, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.  Ellen is beside herself.  New Cathy is ready to go work at Burger World.

I took another stupid phone call from one of the Suits about an aspect of my job that she could never, ever do.
Suit: "Are you excited?  Go live will be here before you know it!"
Me: (dead pan) "Beside myself.  What a joyous occasion".
Suit:  " I know, right?  Hey, we have something for you!  It's a t-shirt that says SUPER-USER!  Isn't that awesome?  I got you a large, is that OK?  You can wear it the first day so everyone knows who you are!"
Me:  "Oh.  Cool."

Really?  A t-shirt that says super-user?  That is so....wrong.  On several levels.
1.  I don't wear t-shirts.
2.  I would never wear one to work even if I did wear them.
3.  There are about 6 people who work here on the evening shift.  They all know who I am
4.  Think very carefully about the connotations of labeling anyone a super-user.  That would also apply to 2/3 of our frequent fliers seeking narcotics.


Ajax said...

I think you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who hears 'super-user' and doesn't think of drugs.

How frustrating that the electronic system takes longer. I'd be defenestrating some PC's like you wouldn't believe.

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Super-User ?~!Where are the brains that devise this word salad and then expect us to just conform... Sorry, no can do.

Tonja said...

Ugh no. I have been @ 3 places when changes to computer charting have happened, and only in 1 did I like the system. Usually they take longer to chart on and are user unfriendly. What a pain in the ass!

Susan said...

I am envisioning you in the t-shirt and LMAO! Who thought up that one?! DANG!
We really do live among the painfully stupid.

Sounds joyous. When you need a cocktail, give me a call. :)

EDNurseasauras said...

Def after this weekend. Miss you!

ndenunz said...

How many pounds in a metric fu*k ton?

Cartoon said...

Just wait until the admitting processes someone for one of those beds, then that patient scoots out the door without one bit of documentation on them and another one is put in it's place. If it's the same computer system I have dealt with in the's going to create a whole lot of a mess for sure. Been there.

Never mind, if you are a "super user" that the lazy nurses are not going to bother learning the new system and will instead try and get you to do their work. Been there.

I can't believe they would really hand out Tee-shirts with "super user" on them. You could always use it for a bodily fluid absorption pad on the floor. Oops!

EDNurseasauras said...

Yep, I'm sure it will be so much fun.

Our medical director was actually wearing one of those shirts...over a shirt and tie. What a tool.

EDNurseasauras said...

1/2 sh*tload. Roughly.

hoodnurse said...

Is it bad that I want a super user T shirt to wear out to the bar on weekends?

caffeine and xanax said...

You will soon officially get to point and laugh at nurses like myself, who have no idea what to do when the electronic charting and orders go DOWN and we have to do it by hand.

Because my whole day came to a screeching halt. I had absolutely no idea where to even begin. How does one go about this *orders* process on paper? Where is the paper? How do I make marks on the paper? With a pen? Where do we keep those??

Alexandria Moffitt said...

Another perfect example of the disconnect of management and those of us in the trenches. Paperless is an awesome progressive step, when done correctly. Which obviously is not happening here.

EDNurseasauras said...

Yes i agree. I have used the best and worstthe systems. This is hands-down the absolute worst.