In response to a reader's response to David Burda's "Reporter's notebook: Physician anger management":
I think Chris Farley's "dollars and doughnuts" are on the wrong issue. Do you mean to say that physicians cannot learn the same way thousands of nurses and other clinicians have? I am sick to death of hearing that physicians' learning needs are so different. Education should be and is tailored to the audience to whom it's presented. Effort goes into putting like clinicians into classes (nurses with nurses, physicians with physicians, unit administrative staff with unit administrative staff) so time isn't spent going over unnecessary topics. Class sizes are kept small with multiple "rovers" involved to offer immediate help for those who need it. Classes are presented during the day, at night and on weekends to cover the myriad of schedules worked. I know because as a former implementation analyst and independent consultant, Ive worked on the outlines and the schedules and taught the sessions.
I have spent countless hours in the middle of the night, on weekends and during extended "go live" support working with physicians who never showed up for scheduled training. They were presented with the same material that was presented in the classes scheduled for physicians prior to going live. But they couldn't be bothered with showing up for the class they themselves had signed up to take.
Poor EHR design doesn't wash either. The physician groups are asked and in many cases begged to get involved in system design from the beginning and no one ever shows up or one physician is designated as the representative for all services, physician levels and programs. How many conference sessions and articles have been written about techniques to involve physicians in implementing EHR systems? Then the system goes live and physicians who never thought about participating complain because no one met their needs.
Healthcare facilities have catered to physicians for decades and implementing information technology is no different. It's time to stop treating physicians differently than the rest of healthcare professionals. If physicians want to be properly trained and supported then they need to take responsibility, as a group, for their own learning and to make their wants and needs known just as every other discipline does. Until a plurality of physicians decide to get involved in the design and implementation of EHR systems and become partners in creating solutions, they will continue to need someone to pick up the tab for their mental health.
Jo Kriynovich, R.N.Salt Lake City
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