Post-it post 7/11/21

The post-it note reads ‘when the EHR goes down you can hear the groans of a thousand nurses’.

The EHR is the electronic health record.

Or computerized charting.

And the one my hospital uses is run out of the Midwest with local hospital based server farms.

It is the life blood of the hospital.

It is where we chart.

It is how we order meds/surgeries/consults/transport.

The EHR runs the hospital.

The EHR sometimes gets a bad rap.

But when it is unavailable it can be catastrophic.

We all convert to paper charting.

With the intent that someone enters all the paper charting into the unit navigator.

Some units have people who do the inputting.

Not the OR.

The OR asks the nurse who circulated the case to copy the paper charting to the electronic chart.

The EHR has to be updated periodically.

Those are called downtimes.

They are scheduled.

And mostly are controlled chaos.

For 4-5 hours.

Sometimes there is a power outage and the EHR becomes read only, if the downtime computer is hooked into the generator plugs.

Sometimes someone unplugged the downtime computer because they needed to charge their phone.

Sometimes people are idiots.

However the downtime happens, it is never very easy for the nurse on duty.

Hence the groaning when the computer goes down.

Last scheduled downtime I was at the hospital for, we were doing an emergency case.

I knew about the coming downtime and I outfitted myself and the CNRA with the appropriate paper charts.

Of course, when PACU nurses got there they did not know where their paper charts were.

Someone had moved them.

Quelle horror.

At 0345 I faced a two way street.

I could go home and get up at 0700 to back chart the rest of my case.

Or I could hang out for an hour and 15 and back chart the rest of the case.

If the downtime was over at the scheduled time.

I went home and went to bed.

And got up in three hours to back chart the case.

Because sometimes the sleep you can get is best.

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