In my 2 month long saga (of which I was only aware of for a month) of not getting paid, I continued to do my job, and provide the best care for my patients that I could. I was still seeing between 25 and 35 patients a day, and trying to get them referred to specialists, and watch their lab, ordered MRIs, XRays, mammograms, and CTs as indicated, and tried to adjust medication. All fairly ordinary in a day’s work for me. I became frustrated with some patients and specialists, and others were easy and pleasant to see and talk to. Still fairly routine.
However, the one thing that was constant, is that I was still using a computer through it all to track everything. On Tuesday afternoon, the internet went down. Don’t know why, but we were still able to work on our internal network. No internet, made things harder like checking eligibility, taking credit card payments, and other tasks, but life was not impossible However, that evening, my software started popping up that our licenses were not active and that further use of the software might result in errors and damage. What! I paid my yearly contract in August, and well it is February. The day finished, and we noticed updates had not been installed on the server, so thinking that might have been one of the internet problems, my husband restarted and installed the updates. During this time I wrote an angry email to my EHR vendor, pretty much expressing in it all of the frustrations we have had with them in the last 6 months, and especially the last month and a half. Not expecting a response until morning, as it was 5 pm when I sent it, I was really surprised at the first response in 10 minutes, followed by another 4 in over the next 20 minutes. I guess threatening to find a new vendor (which can be pricy, mine cost around $30,000 for two physicians 6 years ago) is enough to warrant prompt attention.
Anyway, there was only so much that could be done that night, with the server updating, I don’t know how many updates that night. So I went on with my night, and yesterday morning, still the same error message and my tablet (which I take room to room) would not connect onto the network. Actually none of the computers that were on the wireless would connect. So we followed the directions to fix the licensing issue, pulled out our paper charts that we have for an emergency, and started the day. However, we got to one step that said, clicking yes will disconnect you from your system. And the directions clearly said to click yes. Oh my. Did we want to do this? At this point, I am definitely ready to throw my computer out the window and look into new lines of work. Not sure what I am qualified for, but they surely pay better (since I am not getting paid) and probably 100% less stress.
At this point, the wireless connection was reset and the tablet was working, so we were electing to not fixing the error, because despite the error messages, we could at least access the chart. But how frustrating. Though somewhere during the first hour of patients, apparently my office manager had gotten ahold of support, who said there would be no effect to the rest of the system when pressing those buttons, and had fixed the licensing issue. So if I would log out and log back in, I would not longer be bothered by the annoying error message that I had not active licenses. Finally, some good news. Anyway, we were finally able to finish the morning, but the right off the back frustration makes me wonder, do computers make it easier or more difficult? It is hard to decide.