Friday, May 27, 2005

Holy cow. I didn't realize it's been a month since I last posted! So here are some highlights from the past few weeks, appearing in whatever order they happen to cross my mind.

Good news: I really like the job. It's VERY busy all day long, to put it mildly. This is a Good Thing, as it makes the day fly by. More on that in a few paragraphs.

Some more good news: the Phantoms defeated the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins in 5 games, and have moved on to the Eastern Conference Finals. We currently hold a 3 games to 1 lead over the Providence Bruins.

Of course, the non-good news is that right now, even as I type, I'm listening to Game 5 on the cybercast, and we're not winning, to put it mildly. The Phantoms are behind 4-1 in tonight's game with about half the game left. GRRRRR... well, we ousted the Pens by coming back from a 4-1 defecit and scoring 6 goals. I'll take something similar tonight, Thank You Very Much. ;)

I've accepted the nomination to run for Secretary again for the Phantoms Phan Club. I like the position, so I was more than glad to run again. Elections are next month... such as they are, as everyone appears to be running unopposed at the moment. Now that nominations are closed for May, no one else can be nominated between now and June. In that case, the Secretary will cast one vote for each officer who is on the ballot. Currently, that includes President and Secretary. The position of Second VP is going to become vacant, also; however, no one was nominated nor offered to run. The President can appoint someone to fill a vacant Board office if no one runs to fill it. It's looking like that's how it's going to turn out, for the 2nd VP post.

I've celebrated my new job by picking up a few little toys, such as an AM/FM Pen Radio (thank you, eBay, lol) and a few trinkets from the Camilla Hall flea market. Chief among the finds there are a DayTimer... a real one, though it's hardly got any pages in it... a document holder, a paper cutter (yay! for trimming photos and for scrapbooking), and a(nother) data bank/PIM device. I got it so I could "jot" little files down anywhere/any time, including times when I am unwilling to carry my PDA around. I have a couple of work anecdotes that I made a note of that way... I'll transcribe them onto here in a bit.

One thing I'll have to do, though, is be VERY careful about what I post regarding work. The HIPAA laws are, justifiably, strict. So the only way I'm going to be able to recount ANYthing at all is if I can remove all possible identifying information first. Then, if the story still makes sense once those details are excised, I'll post it.

For example. Our doctors dictate notes about every patient after each appointment. Patients can opt to have copies sent, not only to their primary-care doctor, but to any other specialists that they're seeing. The dictations are spoken onto a microcasette tape, which is picked up by the transcribing service and typed up. This creates regular letters that can be mailed out. ("Dear [primary care doctor], I had the pleasure of seeing [patient] in our clinic on [date]. [Patient] is an [age]-year-old [ethnic/race] [gender] with a medical history of [etc etc etc]...", followed by the details of this particular appointment.)

One of my job tasks is to take those dictations and see that they're mailed out to all the parties they're addressed to. That's how I discovered that one particular patient is seeing no fewer than FOURTEEN specialists. Not only were they seeing the rheumatologist who dictated the letter, but it was addressed to a truckload of other specialists including endocrinologists, dermatoligists, nephrologists (kidneys), ophthalmologists, and a freaking ton of other ___-ogists that I can't even remember at this point. And, I was pleased to see, one of the copies of the dictation was being mailed to the patient, as well. If I was seeing a zillion ____-ologists, you'd better BELIEVE I'd want a copy of the dictation for my own files, so I'd have a clue of what was being discussed regarding my treatment and so I could be proactive about having a say in it. Apparently, this patient abides by the same philosophy. Good.

We had an, errr, colorful situation a few days ago when one of our patients ran out of pain meds. Unfortunately, said patient's doctor is currently on vacation, so we couldn't just have him refill the Rx and tell the Pharmacy to fill it. Even more unfortunately, the patient became irate and didn't believe us when we explained that we'd have to take some extra steps to get the prescription refilled, because of the original doctor being on vacation. Said patient proceeded to call the clinic 6 or 7 times in the space of about two hours, hollering, swearing, and threatening to come to the clinic and wreck the place. It reached a point where our practice manager had us document just what the patient was saying, because if the comments were dire enough, the patient could be discharged from the practice.

I happened to be the one who answered the phone for one of those tirades. Whee, did I get my ear bent! But I couldn't help but feel sorry for the patient, in a way, because their anger was inspired by the fact that they were in pain, without relief in sight. So I kept my mouth mostly shut and stayed diplomatic when I did have something to say, and what do you know... the patient went from hollering and swearing to just plain hollering. I can't say the situation was diffused, exactly, but it did manage to get toned down a few notches. Hey, I'll take it! ;o)

Anyway, off I go. Time to post this. I'll have other stuff to post later, I'm sure, but for now it's time to send this note.