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Busy Under the Surface March 29, 2010

Posted by Darla in Adventures.
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This week was quiet in EHR Land. Or, so it seemed on the surface.

The Functional Review Document for ePartners is in review. This document outlines the expectations of both parties for the final functionality of the financial software, so it needs to be spot on before it is approved. Behind the scenes, ePartners has installed and is testing their software on Cerner’s hardware back in Missouri. We are not directly involved in this process, but it is nice to know that these major partners in the implementation are working together.

In the time and attendance sphere, the Business Process Review document is being finalized, rules are being built for our payroll, and time clocks and badge printing software are purchased and planned for installation. EmPower, the software group in charge of this portion of the implementation, installed its core application on Syringa’s servers. This is done “long distance” in that Syringa allows them access to our servers and they install the software from their own location. Very cool.

And here at Syringa, we are still collecting the data needed for Cerner’s visit April 6-8. We forwarded nursing documents and the Charge Master to them last week, and collected documents from PT, the clinic, and billing. Some data will continue to be collected well into April, but the majority of it has been gathered, and we are ready for Cerner’s visit.

According to Troy, there will be about a dozen Cerner employees here next week to give us in depth, department specific instruction and time. For many of our department managers, this will be the first time they have had a chance for one-on-one interaction with Cerner.  It should be a great week.

I saw the new “Alice in Wonderland” this weekend. It was a delightful movie, full of Johnny Depp, amazing computer animation, Johnny Depp, and action – and did I mention Johnny Depp? However, it should have been called “Through the Looking Glass” because the movie was more closely based on that sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

And like the EHR implementation this week, all the action of the movie happened “beneath the surface”; literally, of the earth, and figuratively, of the mind.

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Getting Schooled March 22, 2010

Posted by Darla in Adventures.
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According to the Urban Dictionary – and my teenagers – to “school” someone means to teach them a lesson. We used to say, “Boy, she taught me a lesson.” Today we would say, “I got schooled!”

The Mock Turtle in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland wisely described “schooling” by using a mathematical metaphor, which (surprise!) applies to the coming technology change at Syringa. According to him, there are four branches of Arithmetic:

Ambition. This is the desire to create health and wellness in our patients; to serve our clients with respect and dedication; to educate them on their health care; to fully embrace the coming changes with EHR in place.

Distraction. This is the belief that the old way is faster, safer, better. And,in March, it is the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Uglification. This is what happens when Distraction is greater than Ambition; when we refuse to change.

Derision. This occurs when Distraction and Ugilfication are multiplied to the point that we have to find a different Ambition.

The “schooling” we are getting from this EHR project is positive. Syringa employees are looking at their daily tasks and analyzing the procedures and methods for attending to the needs of the patients, producing the statements and bills for customers, scheduling appointments with patients, and cleaning up once a patient is discharged.

Self reflection pays big dividends in the long run, and honest reflection now will be extremely helpful when applying new procedures and processes to patient care once EHR is fully implemented.

And according to the Mock Turtle, as we egage in learning — attend our lessons — the energy spent learning decreases, or “lessens”. Thus, Lessons.

Doing Arithmetic lessons on a blackboard.

Yowser! March 15, 2010

Posted by Darla in Adventures.
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All the nursing documents to send to Cerner.

 It was quite a week in EHR Land! People are scrambling to gather the documents, lists, files and orders required to forward to Cerner before they make their next visit April 6 – 8. I heard rumors regarding a competition between departments about who would get their homework in first … … and then the “it’s not fair” started because Radiology won (sorry Lynne). But then, we ALL know that they really don’t have that much info to gather ANYWAY … see the nursing stack, above!

Yowzer! Such excitement over homework!

Obviously, hospital employees are key to the success of this project. It might be tough for a while, learning the new system while continuing to provide excellent patient care. Expect days of pining for the “good old days” of paper and lost pencils, but remember that we are 100% ready to do this. Cerner will provide a high tech tool to help fulfill our mission to improve the health and wellness of the people we serve with compassion and exceptional care.

And speaking of compassion, I heard one of our medical providers being described as showing “evident compassion” for the patient who was being treated in the ER. That sends chills up my spine! You can’t be compassionate if you don’t care deeply about what you’re doing.

Yowzer! Again!

Cats, Hares and Hats March 5, 2010

Posted by Darla in Adventures.
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While reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland this week I officially met the Cheshire Cat, March Hare and Mad Hatter.  And as the week progressed, I ran into them here in our adventures in EHR Land, too.

The Grinning Cat. Not only does the Chessie Cat grin, it also appears and disappears at will. Plus it talks. When Alice asked, “would you tell me which way I ought to walk from here?” the cat replied, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

How profound. This long project needs a plan, a clear path for implementation. Certainly, we would end up somewhere if we didn’t have a plan, but not where we want to be: Fully implemented, providing excellent care and improved outcomes to all our patients. Thankfully the professionals who are working with Syringa know what they are doing and have us on a path toward success with this project.

March Hare. Here is a crazy character who offered Alice some wine at the Mad Tea Party. When Alice replied, “I don’t see any wine,” the Hare responded, “There isn’t any.” Thus began a maddening interlude of confused exchanges and misunderstood dialogue.

Our project leaders have done many implementations in their careers, so they can easily “talk over” us. It takes great will and a brave heart to stop the locomotive in its tracks and ask for clarification. They speak their “software language” and we speak Idaho Rural Hospitalese, and it takes some doing for us to understand each other.

Mad Hatter. His watch that tells what day it is, but not “what o’clock it is.” According to the Hatter, he has no need to deal in the minutiae of minutes.

Currently we are working hard to get information to the solutions architects so they can create our new system. Sometimes we need Mad Hatter’s watch because we get bogged down in the minutiae of the minutes in an attempt to make sense of the days, the years, the overall picture of how Syringa works. And the opposite happens, too, when we are asked to provide minutiae data without understanding how it fits into the days.

Are you planning to see the new Alice in Wonderland out this weekend? For research purposes, I think I should see it. If you go, let me know what YOU  think!