What a fantastic three days these have been! Monday started off with some chaos since the phone and computer guys were still setting stuff up when the first families arrived but all it all it went better than I expected. I had 24 patients to see on my opening day (several more than I had anticipated) but we all rolled with the punches (including the patients) and we ultimately got all the work done. Pat and Maria worked in back and lucky for us the air conditioning was on since we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off! Paula, Tom and my mom, Katie, managed the front desk remarkably well…and things have just gotten better and better each day. Monday was long and when we all finally left at 7pm or so I still had hours of charting to do and was up until past midnight.
I strolled into the office on Tuesday with Mairen and a big smile on my face though as we started day 2. Mairen did a fantastic job greeting and entertaining the kids while their parents completed paperwork and Paula and Tom were really get the hang of things. By the end of the day Monday, I had put Tom in charge of entering all the billing and demographic info and Paula and my mom were fielding patient calls and greeting the families as they arrived. What I hadn’t factored in as well as I should have is the fact that every single one of the patients is ‘new’ in a way. None is entered in my system and entering each one takes quite a bit of time. Also I hadn’t factored in the fact that Pat and Maria are terrific nurses but had not worked in a really busy office setting before. Lucky for me, they are troopers and by the end of Tuesday we were all feeling much more calm and in control. I kicked the staff out around 630 yesterday and stayed for a little while longer enjoying the view from my office and finishing up my charts.
Today though was a fantastic day. We still saw the same 23-25 patients/day we had been seeing but we were really starting to get in a groove. The e-MDs system I chose for my EMR is amazing and easy to use and starting yesterday, we were no longer even using paper! Today we were not only paperless but I was able to finish all my charts before leaving for the day! This is quite a feat!
Tomorrow I am busier with 20 check ups on the books and no doubt the usual few same day appointments will reveal themselves. I am confident now though in the EMR system and most importantly in my staff. Paula is great and a really quick learner, Tom has come through and taken over the sticky wicket of entering all of the insurance info so early next week I can actually send insurance claims out, Pat is remarkably unflappable and confident with the EMR, Maria is more than competent when it comes to the patient care and using e-MDs (she hadn’t ever seen the system until Monday!), my mom is setting a terrific customer service tone and is making sure that the patient and family needs are met. A great team!
I love working in this setting….with the terrific natural light from the windows, the cheerful and den-like rooms and the people I am with make this a terrific place to head off to each morning. One wonderful surprise in all of this has been the ease of using e-MDs. I have always been a techno geek girl but my staff has not and they are all finding this system really well designed. NICE!
Special thanks to Mairen who was an amazing greeter/babysitter for the families and Declan and Conall for finding every possible janitorial duty that could need to be done and doing it. A huge thanks today to Kristin Demorest (Pat’s daughter and soon to be med student at Wisconsin) for hanging out with my boys this morning while Kevin took Mairen to Blue Lake for camp.
Thanks too to all of the families, new and old, who are joining me each day for the ride! The blog is back in action and I look forward to sharing the ups and downs of this new venture!
Drink a diet Pepsi, have an apple and a turkey sandwich and each day will be your best!
Molly O’Shea, MD Birmingham Pediatrics + Wellness Center phone: 248-816-2558