Thursday, March 27, 2008


Sometimes, you get cynical in what you do. Ok, maybe you don't, but I do. I have given everything I have to this industry of trying to get providers (and health care in general) to join modern times and stop using the stone ages pen and paper to record everything. I constantly explain the benefits, and I try to understand how you can NOT use an EMR in today's day and age. I try to empathize with doctors on what they need, and we try to develop the best solution that they can possibly have. But sometimes, it gets really frustrating.

Twelve years ago, everyone thought that most doctors would use electronic systems by now. Instead? Depending on the study, it MIGHT be 15%. That is INSANE. People put their credit card numbers on amazon. They trust people on ebay to send them what they purchase. They scan their own groceries. They use ATMs from a bank that isn't theirs, etc, etc, etc,. Even the schools seem more advanced than healthcare. My children get their state test results (the lovely FCAT) by a user name and password. They get logins to their math books. The teachers even do all of the grading on a computer. However, you walk into a doctor's office, and they will argue with you about how they can check a box on a piece of paper faster than they can click something on a computer screen. So, I constantly try to find new ways to get providers to get excited. That is what I do, and for the most part, I love it. I have a true passion for it, and I truly believe that it will change the healthcare industry for the better and that means better care for patients in the long run. I look at the costs in our healthcare industry, and it is insane. Prices go up every year, doctors get paid less every year, and everyone is griping about it. However, nobody seems to have the answer to the problem or there are enough differing views that it seems virtually impossible to accomplish.

Then, I go to Ohio to visit my buddy Dr. Alexander. He is amazing. He truly is one of the best pioneers and advocates for healthcare and healthcare IT in the country. Not only is he an amazing pediatrician, but he also designed an incredible office. I have never seen someone give so much attention to detail into a medical office. He designed the entire thing to have efficient workflow (including the best EMR of Clinician), and he also did other amazing things. For example, each exam room door has a see through panel so that you can see if a child is behind the door.
The exam tables don't require a step stool for people to fall over because they have a step built in. The sink, soap, and paper towels are automatic, but they also have a timer to keep kids from playing with them. Each room is color coded, and that color coding even goes down to the computer monitor!!!!!!!
He even has these adorable chairs for tiny kids.
The staff workspace is laid out perfectly so that everyone has access to everyone to maximize efficiency. It truly is beautiful. He has two touch screen kiosks in the waiting room for parents to enter in information about their child prior to being seen.

Talking to Dr. Alexander is like a breath of fresh air. He gets me excited about what I do all over again just be seeing the light in his eyes, seeing the real world benefits of technology, and hearing about the rewards he gets. He is truly an advocate. The world needs more Dr. Alexanders. If I lived anywhere near him, I would definitely take my kids to him. :)

On other fronts, my Vols are playing today (thanks Dr. A for the hat!). So far, Louisville is not making it easy. I am wondering what my friends, the Percivals, are thinking. I am sure Lynn is watching. I am sure Vic is enjoying the tournament. :) GO VOLS! The Vols are down by 8 right now. I hope they hit a streak cause they can't lose to Louisville!

Happy Birthday to Viagra. It is hard to believe it has been 10 years.

Talk about inspiring. I loved the story about the woman who had an "inoperable tumor" and then a doctor removed SIX organs, removed the tumor, and put the organs back!!!!!!!

While in Ohio, I went to a Rotary club meeting. My dad was in the Rotary Club when I was a child. It was fun to remember the fun I had going as a kid with my dad. I always got to be the princess of the meeting when he would take me.

My brother Mike sent me this link. It is pretty cool. It uses past data to show changes to the world population, non-communicable diseases, communicable diseases, marrages, divorces, computers produced, gallons of oil pumped, etc. It is prett neat to watch the numbers change.

All in all, a great day. Good timing too! Maybe I can make it long enough to see some positive changes in healthcare after all...:)

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