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DOCtalk by Dr. Gregg 3/11/12

March 11, 2012 News No Comments

The eeMoment

eThis. iThat. Seems like anything even semi-associated with something digital or web-related has been given an uncapped vowel prefix, doesn’t it?

Well, I’ve got one more. With apologies to those who have used a similar term elsewhere – “eMoment” which is typically related to “e”ngaged teaching moments or “e”motional moments (also known as “emo-moments”) – I hereby declare a new term: “eeMoment”. (“ee” as in EEK!)

ee-Mo-ment: [ee-moh-muhnt] noun

1. the instant when one finally realizes that the tech tool they have been trying to use, be it software (e.g., EHR, Netscape, Windows?, etc.), Software-as-a-Service (e.g., Google Health, Netflix?, etc.), or hardware (e.g., Atari, Palm Pilot, Zeos PC, etc.) is now or soon to be dinosaurian

2. the instant one realizes that the rude and/or worthless tech support from any of #1 above has become completely and irrevocably insufferable

3. the instant one realizes that the vast quantity of money and/or inordinate amount of time invested in either #1 or #2 above has reached “OMG, OOH” status (i.e., Oh My God, Out Of Here)

I’ve had my share of eeMoments: some from days of yore, like with Windows ME or IBM’s ViaVoice; some more recent, as with my dear, loveable Palm Pre (RIP).

I had an eeMoment recently that made me think about all those other poor souls out there who are busily readying themselves – and spending huge sums of irretrievable monies – in blind preparation for some pretty monumental eeMoments of their own. To wit: rapid EHR choices and investments in companies who will be gone soon with nothing but the lingering echoes of their rabid cash-taking left behind.

Poorly designed EHRs, EMRs based upon dated technology that won’t last the test of techno-time (which is quantumly faster than standard time), systems that attract with glam and glitz but have no solid tech support touchpoints post-sale, and systems that “eat it” as they get “eaten” themselves in acquisitional feasts – these are but some of the eeMoment precursors which loom so ominously for more providers and hospital end users than I care to consider in the Meaningful Use frenzy of today.

It’s sorta sad, really. HITECH and MU have driven lots of EHR adoption. And that’s good (says the true digital believer in me). But, they’ve also carried with them the increased onslaught of impending eeMoments for many, many unsuspecting providers (even for some of us who are “suspecting” providers.)

What’s that? You wonder what was my recent eeMoment? I’m reluctant to say as I have friends I still admire and trust at the offending eeMomenter company. But, I will say that it was particularly sad for me as what had once, in my eyes, been a beacon of what’s good in “techdom”/”tech supportdom” has now become but another not-so-shining example of how sour the eeMoment can be.

From the trenches…

“The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” – Groucho Marx.

Dr. Gregg Alexander, a grunt in the trenches pediatrician at Madison Pediatrics, is Chief Medical Officer for Health Nuts Media, directs the Pediatric Office of the Future exhibit for the American Academy of Pediatrics, and sits on the board of directors of the Ohio Health Information Partnership (OHIP).

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