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Terribletrivium1The electronic health records at work are going from the old system of billing codes over to a new one. Psychiatrists use a diagnostic manual of illnesses and this was revised last year. It too needs updating in the charts. The teaching video cheerfully explained how to translate the codes and diagnostic numbers. Despite the gayety and mirth it could not hide the awful truth this all has to be done by hand and one chart at a time. Oh my grandmother’s smelling salts. Every one of my patient charts is going to need this. The task isn’t complicated; it is merely terribly tedious. Alas, I can’t delegate it to an office minion for it is my responsibility to make sure the diagnosis are accurate.

So, in anticipation of this job, I asked the Wonder Receptionist to print out my patient roster. I was struck numb to discover I have nearly  2,700 patients.  This is alone makes me knock-kneed but imagine opening them one at a time for a overhaul. Each chart tidy-up will need approximately five minutes. You do the math how long this will take. I could try to do them as the patients come in for an appointment, but some folks I see only twice a year and I sense there is a deadline to get it all done as soon as possible. I may have to reserve a day or two to tackle this. Just make sure there is plenty of music – say, the Ring Cycle – and a few copped doses of ritalin to go with the pots of tea.

Ur Truly has the foresight and the dexterity with hand/mouse coordination to start this now and get through a chart in only a few minutes, but the other staff don’t. I hear the first round of staff training last week resembled an orchestra or scorched cats, with one employee threatening to quit, damned if she was going to do this.*

In “The Phantom tollbooth” Milo goes into the Mountains of Ignorance and meets a demon named The Terrible Trivium. He delights in spending time doing lengthy and useless tasks. I think Mr. Trivium now works for Medicare.

* It is an uncharitable to admit if this person were to quit I would not be displeased.

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