The Electric Medical Records system (whom I have christened ‘ELMER”) has been down for two days, making a frightful mess of things at work.  Happily, I can type my notes on my intrepid Mac laptop, and write prescriptions on old pads (the horror). But it means someday I have to cut and paste today’s work into ELMER. Oh the tedium.  The worst is: I can’t access a patient’s old file. I hope there aren’t too many train wrecks today that need some major changes for without their charts I won’t have the information to make a good clinical decision.  I hate ‘micromanaging’ and/or making things up as I go along.  I still have access to Facebook, so all is not entirely lost.


As a consequence it is curiously quiet in the clinic. We don’t have the wretched ‘soft rock’ internet station, which plays mostly Men at Work, Michael Jackson, and (oh the pain!) The BeeGees.   I don’t hear the printer printing nor the receptionist recepting.


I find it a delicious paradox: whenever my ‘time saving devices’ break down I seem to have lots of time on my hands.  Have you ever gone to a place without iphones, cellphones, and the internet? There the days are full of leisurely hours to do such things as read, talk to people, do a puzzle, or (hot puppies!) take a nap without guilt.


Meanwhile, patients are coming and going and it all seems a little less tense and stressful. Without the PC screen I make more eye contact with my them.


So in the end, the only one having a nervous breakdown here is ELMER.