A go-live prayer for those with new EMR systems

Some dear friends of mine, at Busy Community Hospital, are having a momentous day.  Today is the “go-live” for their brand new, shiny EMR.

For those of you outside the hallowed, creaky halls of medicine, this EMR is one of the most widely used electronic medical records systems in America.  It’s big, it’s expensive, it captures lots of data, integrates ERs, hospitals, clinics, labs and everything else.  (Probably your cat’s shot records too.)

The problem isn’t what you get out of it; it’s the cumbersome way you have to put it in.  In my opinion, for what that’s worth, this EMR is not intuitive. It takes a long time to learn to use it well.  I have never used it in a situation where it could be fully customized, but I’m told that makes it easier.  And admittedly, some docs and nurses truly love this EMR and are at peace with it.  I suspect they have implanted brain chips or have undergone some brain-washing.

Typically EMR instruction occurs over weeks, as it has for my friends.  The first time I used it was in a busy urgent care, which was part of a large medical system.  And I learned it over one hour. On the go-live day.  So I’m sympathetic.

Thus, I have a prayer for those in the belly of the beast right now:

A go-live prayer for those with new EMR systems

Lord, maker of electrons and human brains, help us as we use this computer system, which You, Sovereign over the Universe, clearly saw coming and didn’t stop.

Thank you that suffering draws us to you.

Thank you for jobs, even on bad days.

Forgive us for the unnecessarily profane things we have said, or will say, about this process.

As we go forward, we implore you:

Let our tech support fly to us on wings of eagles and know what to do.

May our passwords and logons be up to date.

Protect us from the dreaded “Ticket” submitted to help us.

May our data be saved, not lost.

Let the things we order be the things we have.

Shield us from power loss, power surge, virus and idiots tinkering with the system.

Give our patients patience to understand why everything takes three hours longer.

And may our prescriptions actually go to the pharmacy.

Keep us from rage and tirades.

Protect the screens from our angry fists.

May everyone go home no more than two or three hours late.

And keep our patients, and sanity, intact.

Great physician, great programmer, heal our computers.

Amen

Edwin Leap is an emergency physician who blogs at edwinleap.com and is the author of the Practice Test and Life in Emergistan.  

Image credit: Shutterstock.com 

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