Blog — Notes of a Plastic Surgeon

Welcome to my blog. I am a plastic surgeon in Seattle and have been in private practice since 1991. I've seen more than a few interesting faces and cases through my years spent in the exam room, the operating room and the emergency room. And I have an opinion on just about everything relating to plastic surgery (and a lot of unrelated stuff). If you like my blog, let me know. Thanks for reading! Lisa

One Year Later – Dunce No More!

Seattle Plastic Surgeon celebrates her one year anniversary with her Electronic Medical Record.

blog EMR

I hate feeling like a dunce.

It was one year ago that our plastic surgery office “went live” with our Electronic Medical Record (EMR).  I had a fairly bad attitude towards EMR’s in general because the government was trying to push it down our throats, the exorbitant cost, and my experience with the EMR at Swedish Hospital (where I occasionally treat patients) was SUCH A DOG.  If I were called in after hours to stitch up a facial laceration in the ER at Swedish, I would spend one hour attending to the patient and an additional 2 hours trying to figure out how to document my care on their wretched EPIC system.

We spent a lot of time and energy and gnashing of teeth trying to choose and agree on the best EMR for us.  Then after making the decision, we had to pack up several briefcases with large bills to pay for it.  Oh and then, we had to totally re-do our servers which required another briefcase of large bills.  We had webinar training sessions and more gnashing to teeth and then on July 22, 2013, we went live.  I will never, ever forget that day.  We had two trainers in the office.  The patient load was pretty light and somehow I managed to keep up with the patient flow and the EMR documentation.  The hardest part, other than feeling like a dunce, was trying to wrap my pointy little head around the absence of a patient paper chart.  It just seemed so bizarre and I felt very insecure without that wad of paper called a patient chart in my hand.

A few months after live date, it was time to clear out old, obsolete patient charts.  I remember going through this whole wretched stack of paper charts and suffering  a very nasty paper cut on my right thumb.  Well, that did it.  I was finally ready to give up paper charts.

Our EMR  is by no means perfect and it has crashed pretty badly on one occasion.  But it sure beats the paper chase and those nasty paper cuts.

Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder


Category: New Technology | Tags: , , , , , ,

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