23 Sep Exhausted, but worth it: Week One of New Practice
Well, we’ve almost completed our first week of the new practice! Oh, boy! I am pretty exhausted. And I feel like I have ADD. One minute I’m discussing surgery with a patient, the next fine-tuning the process of ordering tests, next hanging a scope sterilization caddy on the wall, next minute learning about Google Adwords.
It’s like when you are trying to clean your house and you move the blanket to your bedroom, only to see a cup that needs to go to the kitchen, and in the kitchen is your child’s backpack that needs to go to their room. Like that. But it’s every day, all day. 7a-7p. I am not really stopping for meals, just working and grazing.
It’s all-consuming. I can’t stop thinking about the new practice and trying to get every little thing just the way that I think it should be. I know that the day is coming when I will again mostly be spending my time practicing medicine, my first love, and spending less time on the business part, which I like, but it wears me out. It doesn’t feed my soul the same way.
I do love it, though. Building something. Creating a business and a place of healing. Helping people with their bladder problems. Yes, I’m a doctor who hasn’t lost the drive and satisfaction to help people. That is what keeps me from burn-out. Keeps me going no matter what frustration comes along. It is just the best feeling to have a patient smiling and hugging you, because she doesn’t need to wear pads anymore.
I love that I’m also able to employ some great women and (hopefully) help them realize the life that they dream of. And I couldn’t do any of this without their dedication. I truly get so much more from them than I give to them. We have a great team, and everyone has the vision to fulfill the mission of our practice. And we have a lot of silly fun as seen on the Facebook page.
Some of the challenges and frustrations that we’ve encountered: Well, day one, the Comcast internet wasn’t working. In fact it has gone down a couple more times since then. We have a new modem now, so hopefully that will help. And hey, Comcast sent me a $20 credit today! Internet is essential because our medical records are cloud-based. Thank goodness that Methodist has a free guest wifi. Otherwise, I’d have to pay for a backup internet service.
Challenge two: As much as we tried to learn the new Kareo electronic health records (EHR) ahead of time, there is just no way to know all the ins and outs until you go live. Day 4 now, it is getting much easier. We have figured out some good shortcuts.
Challenge three: Today we started using our Phreesia pads. I was hoping they would be ready Monday, but they weren’t. Another lesson in letting go of the desire for perfection! These are like ipads that patients use to check in and pay their co-pay. Very cool. At first, they didn’t work too well, but by the end of the day we were starting to see the light. Patients seem to like them. Decreasing paper waste!
We started out the week with one patient per hour so that we would have plenty of time to figure everything out and that was key. I’m still going to limit the number of patients for a while until we really start to feel like we are getting efficient. The patients have been so wonderful and patient with us. Sweet ladies.
I say we’re off to a good start! I think we are all tired and longing for the smooth-running machine that we all know we are capable of. It will take some time, but each day gets a little easier. It’s like the beginning of a run when you are sucking wind and just want to slow down or stop. BUT, if you can get past mile 3, the breathing gets easier, you reach your stride, and then you are cruising for the long run.