It’s been a rough couple of weeks around the hospital with several ambulatory practice go-lives. It’s also the last time this year that Eligible Providers can start their Meaningful Use attestation periods.
We had a couple of affiliated physicians decide at the last minute that they wanted to give it a try. Since my hospital never says no, the team had to scramble to get everything in place for them to be ready to report. Everyone is so afraid of the audits that the level of documentation being produced to support attestations is simply staggering.
Whenever there’s an increased work load in my day job, I find myself spending more and more time on Twitter and other social media sites just surfing around and trying to get my brain to shut off for the night. I also end up sifting through little notes I make throughout the week reminding myself of potential content for HIStalk. Many of us should be glad that we work in IT because it somewhat insulates us from being on the front lines. Here’s tonight’s highlight reel:
- Healthcare “feel bad” story of the week: A Detroit paramedic lands in hot water after giving a blanket to an elderly fire survivor who escaped his home wearing only his underwear. This is a great parable for preventive medicine. It sounds like the powers that be would have preferred to have to treat the man for hypothermia and transport him to the hospital instead of keeping him warm in the first place.
- The supersonic skydive: I’m eager to see the data they gathered regarding human physiology in extreme conditions. I have a soft spot for space exploration and am also excited about potential new technologies to help astronauts in the event of a catastrophe.
- Healthcare “gross out” story of the week: The New England Compounding Center fiasco, which has led to hundreds of sick patients and at least 15 deaths. While I’m being audited to make sure my recommendations meet strict guidelines and that I check meaningless boxes to meet federal requirements, these guys are completely unregulated at the federal level.
- Black market silicone injections: I spend a good part of my day telling patients that their backsides are too big and they need to lose weight. Another chunk of time is spent with patients who are trying to fight me about the costs of preventive care and screening tests. And yet, there’s a subset of the population out there who is willing to give thousands of dollars in cash to charlatans selling illegal cosmetic treatments to plump up their posteriors. Some of the substances injected by perpetrators: hardware-grade silicone, mineral oil, Fix-A-Flat tire sealant, and furniture polish additives.
- Proofreading is dead: The editor of CMIO Magazine (now Clinical Innovation + Technology) pens an article about their recent CMIO Leadership Forum. Unfortunately, her headline copywriter doesn’t know the difference between a marquee and a marquis. Farzad is definitely a headliner, but now I’m excited to learn he’s also a nobleman.
- Too much standardization is just too much: I received my flu shot recently at an occupational health clinic where I received it last year. I was handed a patient demographic form (clearly printed from their billing system, because they hadn’t replaced the vendor’s logo with their own) and asked to verify the contents. My employer information was completely incorrect, so I made sure to mention it to the receptionist rather than just handing back the clipboard after I marked it up. I work for a large health system with hundreds of locations, but know for sure that we don’t have a building at the address that was listed. The explanation: they wanted to standardize their master files, so they only allow one location for any given employer name. I can buy that, but if you’re going to do so why not choose the address of the corporate headquarters at least? I hope they never have to call me at work, because I didn’t recognize the phone number either. I’m also not sure why they wanted me to waste my time updating it if they have no ability to correct it.
- D’oh, I can’t believe I missed this: I ignore a lot of e-mails I get from certain organizations, simply because my mailbox is so full it’s barely functional. As the days get shorter I can’t believe I missed that the AMA 2012 Interim Meeting is in Hawaii in a few weeks. It would have been a great opportunity for some sunshine and a tax-deductible trip to stock up on material.
Let’s hope this week is better than the last few. Thank goodness I have a vacation coming soon!