Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday, Monday, Change of State

This is Morgan copying her parents money shot (it is monopoly money). Morgan and Grams played Monopoly for over 9 hours today. Amazing. I was surprised until I arrived at Uncle Mark's to see that Morgan had a pile of money, houses and hotels galore, and she was LOVING it. I have a feeling it would have been much shorter if Grams had been the one with the pile of money. I got to play banker when I got there. It was fun to watch them play. I remember many long hours of Monopoly and us accusing each other of cheating. :)

I stayed up late last night writing a use case for the EHRVA Lab Summit. I had Michael Pose helping me and editing last night after midnight. He is a machine. I knew he would be around, and he is always so nice to help with anything you need. THANKS MICHAEL! I think I forgot to write about the Lab Summit in Chicago. It was a meeting with many of the different stakeholders involved in lab orders and results to discuss ways to speed up adoption and to achieve at least a piece of interoperability earlier. If you have been on either side of a lab interface, I think you should get a medal. There are so many challenges in the process, and it was kind of scary to hear them all out in the open in a 2 day process. It is one thing to know that the bones are buried, but it is quite another to hear it all out loud and discussed in such a group. I did leave pretty hopeful that progress might be made. I also was unware that LOINC could not be used for ordering tests very effectively because there needs to be a parent level of test for many of the LOINC codes. For example, the LOINC code is actually for results and the LOINC code is specific to the methodology used to perform the lab test. When a provider orders a test, he wants to select the test in most cases, such as CBC, glucose, HBA1C, etc. The provider usually does not care which methodology the laboratory uses, but there are some cases where the provider does want to place an order for a specific methodology. I think if we could address this issue, it would go a very long way toward making lab interfaces much easier to develop and install. Right now, each lab has their own proprietary codes as their orderable tests, and each lab company may even have different orderable test codes based on different regions in the country. In other words, the labs haven't even created a standard code internally. So, it would be an amazing feat to get this standard code, but it would be fantastic. Of course, there are many other details to work out, but I think this one and having a standard payor code (like NPI for insurance) would be the items that could really speed adoption the fastest.

Travis always says that you go through change of state when you return to work after a weekend or a vacation. I agree with this concept. Your body resists the change until it is forced to go along. I definitely felt change of state today.

I got gas today, and it was $3.87 a gallon. WOO HOO! (Did I just say that about gas that is almost $4???). I had paid over $4 twice, and it just seemed like it was over the top to me. I read an article in the NY Times that said that people just notice the gas increase more because they stare at the numbers while it adds the fuel into your car. The idea of the article was that people buy many gallons of gas at a time where they typically buy one carton of eggs or one gallon of milk. So, when you buy many gallons at a time AND stare at the dollar amount for several minutes, the effect is more prominent. Regardless of whether it is more prominent, the gas prices have been out of control and have made a huge difference in my spending. I drive 26 miles to work each way, and I have to fill up twice a week. It now costs twice what it did when I moved here 3 years ago to drive to work each week. That is a big deal regardless of whether milk or eggs have also increased.

I just have to provide an update and say that I still ADORE my Asus Eee PC. It can do pretty much anything I need it to do, and it doesn't make me lean to the left after carrying it. Plus, it is a great conversation piece. I just never get tired of telling people the cost. I have had so many people think it is a DVD player to be shocked when they realize it is a real laptop.

I have been using my upgraded version of Microsoft Word (2007 version). I was really frustrated when I first got it as I couldn't figure out what to click on after being so used to knowing exactly where to click in the previous version. I made myself suffer though because I felt it was a good exercise in what it is like for our users after an upgrade. Now, I really am starting to like some of the functions, and I am even getting used to the ribbon. In Excel, I adore the new Sum button that makes addition even easier than before.

Ok, signing off now. 35 more days until my Tennessee Vols take the field. Nothing better than college football. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. GO VOLS!

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