Last Wednesday MIS started installing patches on all of our computers for daylight savings time. Wednesday afternoon our dictation system started acting up. Doctors would get busy signals or the phone would just ring and ring when they called in. Thursday it was supposed to be fixed, but it was more of the same, only worse. Now doctors were really getting ticked. You know how doctors are… If they say jump, we’re supposed to say “how high”? Then Thursday afternoon it crashed altogether. Our MIS people were scrambling around, the dictation company’s MIS people were scrambling around, we finally got 3 portals working (we normally have 12), but that really wasn’t enough. Some were dictating on hand held tape recorders… It was a mess. I asked my boss if she wanted me to drive up to the hospital and just type from the tapes. Well, that won’t work… We have no transcribers! Oh yeah. A transcription department with no transcribers! That’s clever. And only 3 hand held units. One of the other transcriptionists offered to drive up about 6 o’clock (pm). No, the boss (actually the lead transcriptionist – the boss’s last day was Wednesday she left just before the computer went to hell – coincidence or hex?)… The LT wanted to re-record all the work into the system so they would all have job numbers. Kind of a waste of time IMHO. Save the tapes if you need documentation, why waste all that time to re-record. Eventually she must have thought the same thing, because she had the other gal drive up at 8 p.m. to work until 4 a.m. I would have gone kicking and screaming by this time… she lives farther away then I do! She didn’t get home until 6 a.m. on Friday. Friday, the dictation company had the thing up and running, but they wanted to tweak it just a bit – CRASH! The server just bit the dust. They did manage to get us our 3 ports back, but that’s it. Tomorrow they’re going to take the server down and rebuild it and get us back on line. Yeah. Right. In the meantime we have a newly designated 800 number for our dictation. Let’s hope that transition is relatively smooth. Make me look fondly back to the days of transcribers and typewriters!
I really have to laugh though (sarcastically). Can you believe the hospital had no backup? No transcribers? No more than 3 hand held tape recorders for the entire staff? AND they’ve never upgraded our system in 9 years. Not one time. It was “too expensive”. Like this isn’t going to cost anything! My biggest fear is that the executive board for the hospital is going to think this is too much of a mess and start sending our transcription out to a transcription company. The (former) boss had told one of the girls that if that ever happened at least we could apply to that company. Wow, that’s comforting. I’d love to go from making my good hourly salary to a paltry 7-1/2 cents a line. And that’s if you work for a good company who would be willing to pay for experience. The most I ever made was 10 cpl, and that was with a CMT (professional certification and working 3rd shift). Oh yeah, and after having 3 consecutive quarters of 99% accuracy or above. And that’s not easy. Then you find the companies that want to pay you 5 cents a line and dock you for any errors you make while trying to transcribe foreign doctors!
I’m sayin’ my prayers that this thing gets fixed once and for all tomorrow!