The ICU hummed as the tech guy waltzed in at two in the morning. A key designer of the EMR himself, the night shift nurses had his mobile and were not afraid to use it. There was a problem reconciling Mr. Jones med list after his emergency bypass surgery that evening. Patients first.
The next one in the door was the young CEO of the hospital. A firebrand, he had pushed the ACO envelope to near completion. There were still bugs, and no primary team was yet claiming Mr. Jones as their patient. Some things need to be sorted out in person, even in the middle of the night.
The chief quality officer was following close behind. There was a new initiative to interview the patient or family within four hours of admission. Of course, Mr. Jones came in at midnight and was whisked off to surgery immediately. Some one had to find his wife. The clock was ticking.
Nowhere, I repeat, nowhere was the surgeon. After the quickie procedure, he must have been in the middle of a catnap.
Attention technologists, CEO’s, and health care consultants: your decisions can be as dangerous as a nurse with a syringe of over-concentrated heparin. When EMRs are implemented that take physicians eyes and minds away from the patient without demonstrable improvement in quality of care (and cause excess spending), patients can die.