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This fine little object is my work buddy. I’m certain it has a precise if not too imaginative name, but I call it ‘The Clicking Device”.

In the bad old days (last month) if I were to write a prescription of a ‘controlled substance” nature, I had to either print it out on special paper or fax it to pharmacy, for I could not send it over the internet. All day long The Wonder Receptionist would print things for me to sign. Afterwards she would call the patients to come in to the office and pick them up. Even the most stable of patients had to trek in once a month to pick up prescriptions. A drag for all. Now that I have the software. I get to send such substance- scripts over the ether.

As they say in Monty Python “And there was much rejoicing”.

The Clicking Device is the grand finale in a procedure with more passwords than a Dan Brown novel. After I finish writing the prescription and entering the codes and passwords I press The Clicking Device. It magically reveals a randomly generated six-digit number which I enter and Bob’s your uncle! off it goes to CVS or Walgreens etc.

Someone assures me such random code generating devices are quite common when he was in banking. If some nasty hacker got into my medical system he could not finalize the prescription without the latest number.

I am mildly amused to see what number comes up when TCD is pressed. There are six numerals, 0-9, so any specific number has a one in a million chance of showing up. An as exercise in mathematics I plan to figure out the odds of getting a number with some meaning. These include: numbers with all with one digit (say all 7s) or today’s date or my birthday or a sequence such as 456789 – that sort of number.  I also fancy figuring out how long it will take to see one of these numbers pops up.

With practice I now can pull up a patient’s chart, renew the Rx, and send it out in less than thirty seconds. However, I need to be careful because if I bungle the electronic health record has apoplexy; it does not like mistakes. It shuts down and I have to wait The Clicking Device generates a new number, which feels a very long time indeed when you are trying to renew a dozen scripts before the next patient shows up.

It all reminds me of the cartoon with the caption “Give Alice some pencils and she will stay happy for ours”.


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