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Silos and Farms May 14, 2010

Posted by Darla in Adventures.
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Image from http://www.toxtown.nlm.nih.gov. Thanks!

I suppose I SHOULD thank Joe for starting this BLOG then assigning me the task of updating it … I suppose I should.

One outcome of this unexpected duty has been further study into Charles Ludwidge Dodgson, aka, Lewis Carroll, the author of not only Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and other whimsical works, but also An Elementary Treatise on Determinants, With Their Application to Simultaneous Linear Equations an Algebraic Equations, and other mathematical works. 

It is hard to believe that the man who composed whimsical and fantastic creatures in Alice in Wonderland, who coined phrases like chortled, burbled and galumphing, and whose prose and poetry spurred an industry in movies, music, theater and merchandise, was also a mathematics professor at Oxford who made significant contributions to the area of determinants in algebra.

Dodgson also loved the theater and opera, and counted among his friends many artists, actors, actresses and photographers. Oh, and yes, he was an accomplished photographer, a preacher, inventor and political activist.

The longer we spend in EHR Land, the more like Charles/Lewis we need to be: comfortable in our own areas of expertise while exploring and embracing other areas.

Cerner’s standard implementation plan requires us to jump into our subject matter silo and stay there. But a small hospital is more like a farm with silos on it. Silos exist in order to store a commodity until such a time as they can be emptied for the good of something else. Rarely does a silo store its commodity forever, and a silo which can’t be emptied is worthless.

While we have to play and work in Cerner’s model during this EHR implementation, we shouldn’t remain in our own areas of “expectedness”. Dashing into the silo for data collection, then scurrying out for process review and change seems a more sensible model.

Shared experience and common knowledge will create a stronger, healthier organization. And this will only result in improved patient care, which will lead to a stronger and healthier community , which will lead to …

… a whole new way to do health care in Idaho County.

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