Friday, July 11, 2014

15 Minutes

Is how long my Internet went out for yesterday at work. I have been there seven years - that was a first. It was crippling. Couldn't dictate, look up medical records, do any web-based reporting. I was flummoxed.

I called computer services. Twice. The phone rang 20 times - that never happens. No answer. I decided it was Armageddon. I called our lab IT person who I try not to bug about these issues unless I am in crisis or I think it is a reporting program problem (her specialty). She came down within 5 minutes and burst into my office.

"I would have been here quicker but the electronic door wasn't working and I had to walk all the way around. I think it's somehow related." She too tried to call IT, she plugged and unplugged my network connection, but no dice. She called a co-worker.

"Dr. Shyder is completely cut off from the network. No signal. She might as well be dead to our system." She listened then exited my office to problem solve. I was a little excited that my phone call generated such a flurry of activity. When I have problems with the Internet at home I can't get anyone on the phone for hours. I depend on my 9 year old to help. Since it makes a difference between him playing his web based games or not, he's got it all figured out.

I worked on cases and pulled out my pen to make notes on the working drafts. I took a phone call from a physician. As I was chatting about a case the IT person popped her head in my door. During my wait I had repeatedly been trying to get on the internet and about two seconds before the door opened I got online. I felt like I had just busted through a brick wall into an oasis. Sigh of relief.

I told the clinician to hold for a second and put the phone down. I told her, "I'm on!" She replied with an explanation of the problem - network connection, closet in a room, that's about all I got out of it. If I don't really understand something I don't let it occupy too much space in my head. I smiled, gave her a thumbs up, and resumed my phone conversation.

I remember there was a brief problem with the EMR a few weeks ago that caused patients to be left on tables in radiology too long, meds not given, surgeries postponed - general hospital chaos. It is fearfully distasteful food for thought.

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