Thursday, July 9, 2009

OSCAR is finally installed in my office!

We've done a "high end" renovation in my office.
We decided that we didn't like the typical "tired" look that we had acquired after no renovation or updating, really, since the mid 70's.

I think that Physicians and even Patients have become resigned to the fact that a Doctor's office is supposed to have old magazines, be dusty and in various levels of disrepair and show chronic evidence of "heavy use". It is frankly quite depressing to go to work in that sort of environment - and it makes it difficult to recruit good help and to maintain high office morale.

So we splurged. We did a "high end" office renovation. The new Receptionist desk was built around the people staffing it - for their comfort , ergonomics and security. The tops are real light coloured Brazilian Granite with copper flakes and the woodwork is all cherry. The drawers are all "self closing", and the lighting is a nice warm dimmable halogen. The counters were raised to a comfortable working level for the staff and the phone systems were upgraded with a modern PBX system that is menu-driven. Printers have been changed to wireless and have been moved across the room and have been replaced with low decibel printers. A wireless music system has been piped to a BOSE system that can be changed at any time from the wireless setup on the iMac's.

The office chairs are a supple padded rich brown leather with ergonomic contours to be easy on elderly patients' bones and the chair back rests are Brazilian Granite, so as to keep certain people from going through the wall when they sit down hard. Doors have all been replaced with solid oak.

The scent of Hawaiian Guava and Citrus blossoms drifts in subtle breeze throughout the office (got this gizmo from the US), and the new non-slip light groutless Italian slate floor tiles always look clean. The lack of carpet adds to the ability of noise and patient interaction to carry through a bit more, so we have commissioned a new "white noise generator" that will be installed in a few weeks.

What is that, you ask? It is a large wall fountain waterfall that generates a nice soothing white noise background. It keeps the office humid and will absorb voices that carry through.

On the other side of the office will be installed a Plasma TV with ongoing newsfeeds and webcams of the City at various intersections.

The new computers are all Apple 24" iMacs. I and my nurses will carry Macbook Air's into each patient room for patient assessments. A Dymo Labelwriter 300 Turbo is attached to one Mac, but all Mac's can share printers, so it is nice to be able to print a label from anywhere in the office.

The Linux servers running OSCAR are mirrored to each other and back up automatically every morning at 03:30. The servers are completely silent and have no hard drives (we're using the new Intel SSD's).

So far, the Nurses are inputting new patient demographics into OSCAR with no problems. We had to customize the printer settings a bit in order to print labels on the Dymo - but that is just a matter of tinkering. We also had to remove all the Ontario defaults (like Ontario area codes, etc.).

Soon, we'll be adding appointments into OSCAR - but we won't use it as our operational EMR until we are able to get Calgary Lab Services Data into it.....I estimate that we're about 6 weeks before that point.

For now, the ability for me to be able to dicate my notes for referral to other MD's or Consultation Notes back to referring MD's is pretty cool! I'm using MacSpeech's new Medical Dictation software with the new Blu-tooth wireless Microphone. So far my dictations are about 98% accurate - but things get better as I train the software.

Next steps: Get Calgary Lab Services Working and then get OSCAR working with Alberta Health Billings.........more later!