EHR: Advice for your next CIO

With all the efforts underway with EHR, it’s only natural that some efforts will have problems, and those leading the efforts may be replaced.

If you’re the new EHR lead, how do you know what to do tomorrow?  You walk in to your new office; a withered Ficus tree is leaning awkwardly against the far wall, vestiges of a spider’s web dangle from a dead leaf.

You place your yellowed coffee mug on the worn desk, change out of your sneakers, and after rubbing your feet, slip on a pair of black Bruno Magli pumps.  The feel of the supple leather relaxes you.

You spot the three envelopes that are stacked neatly on the credenza.  A hand-written note on Crane stationary reads, “If there is an emergency, open the first envelope”.  You place the three envelops in your YSL attaché case, and go about trying to salvage the EHR implementation.

Three weeks pass.  Things are not going well.  You are summoned to meet with the hospital’s COO.  After checking your makeup, you retrieve the first envelope and read it.  “Blame me,” it reads.  You were going to do that anyway.

Two more months.  The vendor has become a sepsis in the lifeblood of the organization—pretty good word for a math major.  You are summoned to meet with the CEO.  After checking your makeup, you bang your first on your desk, tipping over your coffee, and spilling it all over your Dolce & Gabbana suit.  You don’t have time to change.  You retrieve the second envelope and read it.  “Blame the budget,” it reads.  You were going to do that anyway.

Six months.  Deadlines missed.  Staff quit.  Vendor staff doubles.  Vendor output cut by half.

You are summoned before the board.  You no long check your makeup—you haven’t worn makeup since the day you publically went mano y mano with the head of the cardiology department inside the surgical theater, demanding to see his updated work flows.  You still haven’t been able to get the blood off of your Hermès scarf that he used as a towel.  You are dressed in a pair of faded jeans and your son’s black AC/DC T-shirt, the one with the skull on the back.  You don’t care.

As you reach in the desk drawer for the third envelope, you realize you haven’t had a manicure in four months.  You feel like a disenfranchised U.S Postal employee.  You have become the poster child for the human genome project run amuck.  Somebody is going to lose their DNA today.

You open the third envelope.  “Prepare three envelopes,” it reads.  You were going to do that anyway.

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