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Goodbye, Rock of Normal April 30, 2010

Posted by Darla in Adventures.
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This week in EHR Land felt like we needed to carry magic victuals in each hand like Alice did in her Adventures in Wonderland. (Actually, Alice ate magic mushrooms, but that just doesn’t sound right in the year 2010.)

According to the story, Alice, who had been changing sizes with abandon, wanted to return to Normal. The hookah smoking, mushroom sitting, blue Caterpillar advised her to eat from both sides of his mushroom. Alice broke off a piece from each side of the fungus, began to nibble, and immediately shrunk so small her chin hit her foot.

“She was a good deal frightened by this very sudden change, but she felt that there was not time to be lost … so she set to work …” She ate first out of one hand to grow taller, then the other to grow smaller, and eventually, after many more adventures, she returned to her “regular size.”

But guess what? In EHR Land, Normal is a shifting target. We have launched ourselves into the Stream of the Future, and there is no going back. The Rock of Normal is long gone.

Everyone at Syringa this week had to grow a little, then shrink a little; expand their expectations, then retract them; get excited about the new technology, new systems, new ways of doing things, then be surprised, frustrated, disappointed when it didn’t work.

Most of this two-handed nibbling was done because the new time clocks kept saying, ‘FINGER NOT REGISTERED,’ in response to placing our index finger on the biometric pad. What a funny message to receive out here in rural Idaho, seemingly to suggest that we blow the smoke off the tip of our pointy finger and stick it back into our pocket.

As we nibbled our way through the week, expanding to meet the new changes, then retracting back into our old ways, we remained focused on our mission of providing excellent patient care. We also welcomed three new providers and their families to Syringa and our larger communities of Grangeville and Idaho County. They are already booked with patient visits, and are eager to see many more.

Good bye, Rock of Normal. Hello, a whole new Syringa.

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Time and Attendance April 26, 2010

Posted by Darla in Adventures.
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We are ready for our first visit from emPower, our new time and attendance system. Grover will be here next week to train the HR and Payroll staff, plus all the supervisors who approve time sheets. Everyone in the building will be affected by this change.

According to Katy in HR:

Each Syringa employee will be receiving a new nametag with a bar code for our new time and attendance system. I will need to meet with you at the time clock to enroll you with your finger imprint.

The system will not be actively working with payroll for several months, but to test the system we will need for employees to start using the clock, punching in and out for work and for lunches. If you forget, don’t worry about it – just clock in when you remember as this data will only be used by the techs that are testing our payroll rules in the system.

Because Grover is still developing the “rules” which run our payroll, he needs lots of people to sign in and out so he can test what he is developing to be certain it works just like it does now.

It takes a lot of rules to get out our paychecks each month. Kudos to Janice who has been doing it in her head and with a pencil for so many years!

When Hume Meets Alice in EHR Land April 16, 2010

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EHR Implementation Timeline

In The Philosopher’s Alice, author Peter Heath makes reference to the philosophical musings of David Hume when he comments that Alice’s free fall down the rabbit hole is a discovery that, “motion, by itself, gives no impression of distance covered, or therefore of velocity.” *

This is how it felt in EHR Land this week.

The previous few weeks preparing for Cerner’s visit were jam packed with To Dos and Arrangements and Gentle Reminders. This week, however, while I know we continue our free fall into the future of health care with EHR, it felt like nothing was happening. There was no way to gauge “distance covered.”

Cerner left here with a dozen laptop computers full of data about Syringa and the way it provides the best patient care possible. I know that the information is being massaged and manipulated, interpreted and interpolated. This means that we continue to progress even though it seems as if we are standing still.

And this is verified by the EHR Implementation Timeline, above (click for a larger view). All the major milestones have been met or are in progress, so we are moving right along. We can’t ask for much more than that.

* David Hume, Treatise of Human Nature, Bk 1, Pt 2, Sect 5.

Cerner’s Visit April 9, 2010

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This week’s visit from Cerner went well with around 85% of the data collection completed. Several departments are at 100%. Cerner will take the data and begin to build the system for us, using our preferences, tests, orders, etc. They will be back in July to perform System Validation, which means they will demo the system using the data we provided this go around. In the mean time, Super User training will begin via regular conference calls with the Solution Architects.

Things are also moving forward with ePartners and emPower. They are working behind the scenes right now and remain in touch with Betty, Katy, Lisa and Janice as they develop their software solution to meet Syringa’s needs.