Let me tell you a story about how these how these three resolutions for the New Year came to my mind.
My beeper went off for the emergency room on the day after Christmas. I was called to suture a chin laceration on a 14 year old middle linebacker who fell while ice skating with his sister.
After a couple of relaxing days off, I was shocked by the stress shown on the dedicated faces of the staff, from triage nurse to provider to aide. The sad part is that the stress was not from a sad death or a worrisome epidemic. It was due to our medical system-gone-bad where care for the patient has been distorted from care to “through-put.” The pressure to perform, measured by quantity rather than quality, has become pervasive. Such quantity, of course, is supposed to be documented in our electronic health records which are often of dubious value to the problem at hand. We are victims of a broken system, but, we can control ourselves.
So here are the three resolutions that came to mind and hopefully will make the next year happier for us all.
1. Be kind
2. Be collaborative
3. Be inventive
Of course, you are already trying to be kind to your colleagues. It is not their fault that they are grouchy, stressed, superficial, or non-communicative. Arrogant specialist or non-expert primary care provider... cut each a little slack.
You already want to collaborate with your colleagues. It makes you feel more relaxed, more confident, more efficient, more satisfied You regain time for yourself from: telephone tag, cognitive clutter, or followups. You regain time from inefficiency and redundant work. You receive the satisfaction of having done the right thing.
Since you are the one in the trenches, you are often trying to be inventive. It is you who have the experience. Fix a little thing for yourself and you will fix it for others. The government wants your help. http://www.innovations.cms.gov/initiatives/innovation-challenge/ We can’t fix everything, but we can fix some things, and together maybe we can make a real difference. We welcome you to share your ideas with us via email or this blog.
This goes along with what JFK said: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Just this new thinking may relieve stress for you and your colleagues in the new year. And further, we've attached Chapter 1 of Medical iPhone Photography for taking better iPhone collaborative clinical pictures to relieve your stress even more. After the holiday season, the full version is sold on Amazon (and the App Store and Barnes & Noble), in both electronic and Deluxe Paperback Edition.