Lets do it the hard way!

Image result for elctronic health record

Today was training, our group is changing EHR systems, that’s electronic health records for any of you lucky enough to not know…..

So the whole point of this is to save time, improve documentation, make things BETTER. Save paper, because everything is available electronically, right?…..right??!!

In a perfect world, this would make sense. In the most controlled of situations, it works. But it definitely doesn’t save time……. in fact most offices I know have hired more staff  just to help navigating and completing the charting now. We spend more time charting than with our patients….not by our choice.

There is still paper. Paper all over, paper to be scanned INTO the records…. paper kept in paper charts because our silly EHR system likes to freeze, or shut down a lot…. And funny enough, paper to be printed and given to patients each time they come if you want Medicare to like you.

So…. an example for you, to help understand the very special misery only using an EHR can provide……

Let’s use the example of getting dressed in the morning.

Used to be simple…. underwear items, outer layers, socks, shoes, coat….. whatever embellishments you liked, and done.

Now, you need to choose underwear that Medicare will recognize and give you credit for wearing, and so you have to get the fancy ones that you don’t wear very much and then you can only put them on if  you are facing east, and step into them with your right leg, followed by your left. You can’t sit down, and you can’t fall over or you lose 5% of  your reimbursement.

Your pants and shirt must be in the same color family, they can’t clash, and your shirt can’t be a shirt that too many people have or else you won’t get credit for wearing it unless you do something like rip a big hole in it, so it’s different enough but still the same shirt.

You have to ask your socks about their history, and their family history, and if they smoke, and if they feel depressed every time you put them on. Especially the smoking and depressed thing.

You have to chant a few nonsenses words, and do ten toe touches then turn around three times after each article of clothing….. and then you have to teach your shoes how to tie themselves, because otherwise you are just enabling them every time you tie the damn things.

A very loose example….. but the frustration would be the same…..


Homework is painful for everyone

This is a big fat lie.

This is a big fat lie. Or they are drugged.

A lesson in 5  year old comprehension.

Believe it or not, Sammy has homework in Kindergarten. Things have sure changed since I was in school…..

Tonight he had to read 3 paragraphs, and then follow the very specific directions afterwards to test his comprehension.

First story was about a kid who likes going to the park. That was the first sentence, “I like going to the park.” This was followed by the things that he could do (swing and slide), and the things he had trouble doing (monkey bars). He asked his parents to take him to the park…..they are taking him on Saturday.

I know this, because it’s burned into my brain. I will never forget that he likes the park, and the slide, and the swing, and the monkey bars. I know he is going on Saturday. I will carry that knowledge with me forever.

Sammy stumbles through the paragraph. He is only 5…. I still have to help with some words. Invariably, by the time he is finished, much of what he has read is lost. I guess that’s the point of this exercise, to help with retention and comprehension.

First question to answer after the reading: “Where does the boy like to go?”

Sammy ponders….. “The playground!”

No. There is no playground. Now that you know the question, start reading again and see if you can find the answer.

Guys. He literally read that paragraph 3 times. And came up with 3 different answers… none of which were “the park”.

And this is how I know for sure, without a doubt…. I was not cut out for teaching.

I would not give him the answer…. but I was dying, at first inside…but my suffering did spill out for everyone to see. It went on, we had to circle things with a red crayon, underline with a blue crayon, box things with a purple crayon. So many steps, so difficult for me to hold back from just TELLING him what to do.

We got through it. I really think we both need points for this one.




Everythings A-OK here.....

Everything’s A-OK here…..

I was in the process of sleeping in this morning. I was dreaming. Braiding hair and something about a college cafeteria….and a funeral….. suddenly interrupted.


I leap out of bed, assuming it’s a fax, already cursing it’s sender.

It’s not a fax. I answer the call from a local number that I don’t recognize. A woman, very awake and businesslike asks for me. Assuming it’s still somehow work related, and frantically trying to assure myself that it’s Saturday, I acknowledge that it’s me.

Then…a fast worded spiel starts…. I hear the words breast cancer research….fund raiser….. and it’s impossible for me to interrupt. It’s a RECORDING!!  I press some random buttons, the call stops. I hang up.

It’s 8:14am

Normally, I’m up for hours by now. But not on Saturday. Saturday it’s my goal to stay IN BED and wake up on my own, or more frequently by one of the kids wanting to go downstairs and start the day. For some reason, everyone was still sleeping, so this was a golden morning. I would have been happy to realize that when I woke up later…but  that dream was stolen from me.

Impotent with rage.

I can’t even unload my anger onto the shoulders of the person calling me, Daring to call that early on a weekend…because they’ve been so abused by people like me….normal people…. that they’ve turned to recorded messages that sound like they aren’t recordings. Until you try to interrupt.

No satisfaction of at least ruining someone else’s morning anymore.

I sound mean, right? But it’s a pavlovian response. We barely use the home phone. So when it rings, I know it’s usually a crap call… the sound brings on anger and frustration even before I look at the caller ID.

I checked out the guidelines today about telemarketing calling hours.


Calls are ok between 8am and 9pm, no mention of a break on weekends. And, even with my number on the do not call list, I can and will still receive calls from charities, political organizations, and surveys. Oh, and any organization I’ve had a relationship with can call for 18 months after my last purchase or delivery, even if I’m on the list. Any company I make a credit inquiry with…can call for 3 months.

Really frustrating to know this. Last presidential election, we were harassed with phone calls and recordings to the point that I swore to people I wouldn’t vote for their candidate because their incessant calls drove me to hate them.

I hate it. HATE IT.

One exception.

There is this cute sounding little lady who calls….for Purple Hearts. When she calls, the rage disappears, and I am ever so polite as she arranges for me to leave bags of clothes and household items at the front door. I just can’t be mean to her, maybe because she’s a real human.

Bottom line… my time at home is mine. I don’t like it wasted or interrupted. If I want to donate my money, or blood, or vote…I will figure out how to do it. Don’t call me. I hate you.