EHR: Should you hire a swim coach?

Swimming with guppies.

Got the new bike, got the new bike shoes, got the uni (uniform-not unitard).  I’ve written about my desire to compete in a triathlon.  Actually, I miswrote.  My desire is not to compete, it’s more accurately a desire not to make a fool of myself during the swim, more specifically not to drown.

The swimming is one of those events where having the coolest outfit doesn’t help, as there are no coolest swimming outfits (men do not let men wear Speedos).  There aren’t enough North Face labels for me to wear to make me look like I know what I’m doing in a pool.

What to do?  Here’s my thinking.  I made a new friend, and as a bonus, she happens to be pretty sharp on the pharma side of healthcare.  She swims—fast.  She swims—a lot.  Did I mention she swims?  Longtime readers know I like to color outside the lines.  Maybe I could hire her to take my place during that part of the race.  Then we get back to the issue of the uni.  One way or another that becomes an issue for one of us.

She offered to teach me.  Lesson one was today.  Lesson two will begin right after the EMTs finish their CPR on me.  Rule one, no matter how cool you think you are, you can’t breathe under water.  That took a few laps to master.  More breathing, stroke, legs.  Lots to learn.

“Let’s get a pool boy to help you not drag your legs,” she suggested.

I have difficulty passing up the opportunity to comment.  She could see I had the broccoli in the headlights look in my eyes.  “You hold it between your legs and it helps you float.”

I scanned the pool.  There we the two of us…and the lifeguard.  “It looks like he’s busy,” I offered somewhat sheepishly.  “Besides, if that’s what it takes, I think we’re both better off if I drag my legs.” (A little un-PC pool humor, but why not, I was already wet and being out swum.

So, what does this have to do with why we’re here?  Here’s the take away.  Sometimes, no matter how smart, no matter how big your ego, you need help.  Sometimes it makes a huge difference to have someone on your side who’s been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

Not with me yet?  A guy (man or woman guy—send me an email and let me know when we can let go of this PC thing and just write) is walking down the road, not watching where he’s going, and he/we/she/it falls into a deep hole.

An engineer walks by.  “Help me,” shouts Hole Person.

The engineer thinks for a moment, writes some ideas on a piece of paper and tosses them into the hole.

Several hours later, a finance guy walks by.  “Help me out (literally)” yells Hole Person.  The CFO tosses down a cheque (I use the Canadian spelling to distinguish it from someone from the Eastern Bloc as it would make no sense to toss another person into the hole.)

Days later, Hole Boy (not the same as Pool Boy in case anyone is still reading) is at the end of his rope.  The work plan failed. The Check bounced.

A consultant passed, saw the man, and hopped into the hole.

“Why did you do that?  Now we’re both stuck.”

The consultant smiled in a Grinch-like fashion—please see prior blog for the segue.  “I’ve been down here before, and I know the way out.”

Kind’ a like a swim coach.

EHR projects have more zeros than you can count.  What if you could hire someone who knew the way out?

I may know someone who can help.


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