Friday, 13 March 2009

Brown stuff, grunt training and central control of prescribing

Once again one of the ND team did the early morning Brown shift (silent f) on a frosty morning. After a hazardous drive because the temperature was still below zero we arrived at surgery later than we had anticipated but in one piece after several encounters with black ice on rural roads.

Aware that patients from the warmer and lower conurbation had had no such problems the team member was running late and switched on the god of modern healthcare the computer only to have a misfire as the computer would not let us log in or in grunt speak a “dead man’s click”. We could not log in to, or fire, our weapon of modern medical excellence the computer.

Everything we need to do the job in terms of medical records, prescribing information and results was frozen and there was no IT support until at least 10.00hrs (on a good day) some 2+ hours away.

This is where grunt basic training comes in.

A quick scan of the screen as a pilot or an anaesthetist would do gave some clues.

We knew that a local Politburo IT idiot (and in Northernshire they are idiots) had asked to install a prescribing control tool to help the “I have a chemistry set” prescribing advisor centrally control GP prescribing (and costs) the day before and the virus scanner that we have to disable in order to run our ever slow clinical system was now switched on when it had been off.

Just as when you get a dead man’s click the first reaction is to get your weapon working again.

Computer rebooted - virus scan disabled - re run clinical system . . .
dead man’s click again.
Patients waiting remember we arrived late.

Next move search for the newly installed software – identify - delete.

Reload - clinical system now accessible all without any IT support in 12 minutes including reboots.

This did not impress the patients who had been delayed even more.

Extra Brown shifts (f!) all without support as no politician has thought of that. Had there been a child protection issue or need for urgent NHS manager intervention it would have not been there either.

3 hours after we started we emerged from our foxhole and mentioned this to other staff members all of whom had had the same problem. Some were still not able to fire up their machines and had reported it to local IT support who had said their phones had gone ballistic and they were still working on it.

Problem still not solved by the elite Politburo IT team. Purchased software to save money disabled and unserviceable. Computers however were working in some GPs’ rooms.

Praise be to the Party for its wise prescribing advisers and IT back up. In their attempts as idiots to save money they cost more. Thank goodness for grunt basic training. At least we don’t need computers to do most of our job in extremis just ability and basic training. What is their excuse?

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