Back to Paper?
So, you’ve gone digital. You did the planning, looked at some systems, made the decision, and survived the implementation. You’ve gone live.
Maybe it was a few months ago; maybe it was a few years ago. Regardless of how long you’ve been recording health information via digital technology, have you ever considered what it would be like to go back to paper?
I do. In fact, it seems I consider it (sometimes seriously) about every three to four months.
- When we have a major software glitch, I think about paper.
- When our server serves up blank screens, I think about paper.
- When our Internet Service Provider fails to provide Internet service, I think about paper.
- When our electricity provider fails to provide electricity, I think about paper.
- When I look at my electric bill, I think about paper.
- When I have to pony up XX thousand dollars for another failed, broken, or stolen piece of hardware, I think about paper.
- When I’m trying to find the extra money to pay for the all-too-frequent software or hardware upgrades, I think about paper.
- When a staff person figures out a new and exciting way to lock up our print spooler, I think about paper.
- When I start trying to jump through all the information-gathering hoops to meet Meaningful Use or some other set of digitally-related federal or insurance company regulations, rules, or demands, I think about paper.
- When I look at the horrendous system generated reports from other digitally-enabled providers that are either far too detailed to be of use or far too short to convey the true clinical picture, I think about paper.
When I think about paper … I mean when I REALLY think about paper and what it was like trying to schedule on paper and store paper charts and find lost paper charts and read the handwriting in paper charts and wade through four inch thick paper charts and coalesce meaningful practice data from numerous paper charts …
… I think about HIT.
From the trenches …
PS: I have a dear young friend, the daughter of a brilliant nurse and IT wunderkind, who has a form of juvenile myositis. Her life and health have been so impacted by it. She asked me to ask you to, please, take a minute before September 19 to vote for CureJM so that they might win a $250,000 grant in the 2012 Chase Community Giving 2012 Program. It just takes a click or so… please.
“I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.” – Benjamin Franklin
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 Today! exhibit for the American Academy of Pediatrics, and sits on the board of directors of the Ohio Health Information Partnership (OHIP).