JOSEPH LEE, MD
University of Chicago Medical Center
Department of Pediatrics, PGY-3
As a trainee, I find myself pondering what life will be like when I am an attending. How will I be treated by residents, nurses and other members of the medical team? And in turn, how will I treat those that I am commissioned to lead? My experience working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as a MedDocLive (MDL) consultant through the EPIC Go Live process has provided me a glimpse of both.
Electronic medical records (EMRs) have provided both immense progresses in communication within the medical system as well as burdensome requirements for providers. In fact, some providers state that the creation and implementation of EMRs have single handedly decreased their satisfaction with the profession. With that said, it is safe to say that switching EMRs creates an atmosphere of both excitement and apprehension. That is where we, as MDL consultants, enter the scene. It in such an environment, we are commissioned to work and support providers in the transition. Further, it is in this role that I had my first taste of the type of supervising doctor I will be.
As a senior resident, I am accustomed to leading rounds as a medical provider. Further, I can be confident in my plan knowing that my attending will correct any discrepancies. As an MDL consultant, I round with the same teams, however this time, I am the last line of decision making and trouble shooting. And while the issues pertain to EPIC, the current medical record keeping climate establishes EPIC as the final decision maker as to what labs are drawn, what images are taken, and what medications are given. Thus, I serve as the gate keeper between patient illness and patient health.
From going through each order of an admission order set to pulling up chest x rays, I have sat and stood with providers in each step of the process of learning how to utilize EPIC. At times, there was joy and adulation, and others, there was stress and anger. In some cases, I have been able to solve the problem, in others I have had to admit defeat and use my resources to try and triage the problem. In both scenarios, however, I have waited and worked patiently with providers, being decisive when I have had to and taking a step back when that was in the best interest of their learning process. And through it all, I am reassured that my future as a supervising doctor is bright. I will maintain my passion for patient care, my compassion for others, and respect for all people.
I never thought that serving as an MDL provider through the EPIC Go Live process would have taught me so much about myself and my leadership abilities. Through every road bump that the providers and I have been able to hurdle together, I have learned that I can and will be a supervising doctor that is patient and kind. So I rest assured that as I continue on this arduous journey called residency, the hours and stress have not changed my core values. And for that, the patients I will serve and the medical team members I will lead will be forever grateful.