Green Eggs and Hippocrates
Believe it or not, Dr. Seuss has something to teach physicians about healthcare IT. I’m thinking specifically of a lesson from Green Eggs and Ham: Sooner or later, we all have to do something we don’t want to do – or that we think we don’t want to do – and, after the fact, we often discover whatever we were resisting actually isn’t so bad at all.
Dr. Paul Richardson, vice president of clinical informatics and utilization at Conway Medical Center in South Carolina, told a webinar audience last week about an instance of Green Eggs and Ham-ism at his hospital. It had to do with adoption of PatientKeeper physician workflow software, which was deployed as an overlay to Conway’s MEDITECH system.
When PatientKeeper went live, a number of physicians immediately saw the value and voluntarily embraced it. Their positive experience prompted Conway’s medical executive committee to pursue 100 percent usage throughout the hospital. Leadership offered the medical staff a range of valid reasons: improved patient safety; greater physician efficiency; achieving meaningful use. “Using PatientKeeper changed physician workflows for the better here,” Dr. Richardson said. “It’s also done a lot for patient safety and generally enhanced the functionality of our medical record.”
While some physicians were initially reluctant, the context setting and expectations laid out by Conway’s involved executive leadership, combined with the preparation and encouragement of their dedicated IT team, led to widespread success. By the end, said Dr. Richardson, “I think most of the doctors actually welcomed it. It was a cultural shift that people were waiting for. It’s amazing how we just took off.”
Chalk it up as another lesson in the virtues of open-mindedness for the Sam-I-Am’s of healthcare.