As a middle manager I get pushed forward as the “expert” at certain ways my agency handles things. For example, since I am the only one that reads through all the charts I am the default “expert” on how to read through charts. You get the idea.
This is important when a court case comes along that a chart was written for. This happens often since many assaults, vehicle collisions and the like end up going to the lawyers. I won’t say going to court since it appears the system is rigged to favor them handling this all before we get to a judge.
I’ve been brought in to explain how ePCRs are created, stored and retrieved more times than I care to recall since each and every time the questions are exactly the same as are my answers. I get a City Attorney to sit next to me and make sure I only answer the questions I’m supposed to and they often greet me in the hallway with a “The usual today” as if ordering an egg salad on whole wheat.
Every time it was exactly the same, until I suddenly sat down across the table from a familiar face.
This lawyer did his homework.
As I sat down, poured my water and readied my notebook I saw a 3 inch tall pile of clearly well handled papers, some stapled, some not, but in just enough disarray to show they had been reviewed, not simply all printed at once. Right on top I saw a familiar face: Happy.
This lawyer had printed out at least 100 of my blog posts, news stories about the Chronicles of EMS, had photo copies of articles I wrote for magazines, photos of vendor events at conferences…you name it, it was there.
I suddenly felt a wave of panic flow over me and my wool dress coat was heavy. He had achieved his initial purpose of setting me off my game and I did my best to recover as he launched into personal questions about my experience as a Paramedic and blogger. The City Attorney was surprised to see all this material and at that point I wish I had mentioned the blog in our preparation.
Luckily, when we got to the vendor photos I was able to mention they are the same vendor as the medical charting system we use and my familiarity with the product is a result of those interactions. The City Attorney made a very complex legal statement that I believe translates to, “Move along.”
The rest of the interview went as always, I describe the manner in which crews enter data, that the final report can not be edited, that anyone viewing the chart afterwards is in the log, blah, blah, blah. The clinical interviews are far more interesting but are very far between.
After the interview the City Attorney pulled me aside and mentioned that I should have told him about the blog and I apologized. He laughed it off and said, “At least this time you had something new to say!”