Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Questions and Concerns at College Medical Center (formerly Pacific Hospital of Long Beach)

The old Pacific Hospital had a similar sailboat logo. That ship has sailed.

          Oh boy, it looks like transitioning from Pacific Hospital of Long Beach to College Medical Center is going to take some major adjustments (I'm trying not to say that it's going to be a mess). The electronic medical records system has to be reprogrammed to the needs and procedures of College Hospital and even the paper forms may have to be replaced. Hopefully the learning curve won't be too great once the new system is in place. For those who have resisted in learning the former system or were not using them enough, they may have a more difficult time to learn the new one.
          Based on how many people they haven't rehired, one can assume (mistakenly or correctly) that either College Hospital is going to bring in their own staff, hire replacements, or reduce the number of floor staff from the numbers that Pacific Hospital used. That would mainly affect the Behavioral Health Workers who monitor the patients closely on the units and possibly the Licenced Vocational Nurses or Licensed Psychiatric Technicians who pass out the medications. The Registered Nurses shouldn't be affected since there is a legal requirement for them to be assigned only a certain number of patients (patient ratio).
Having not even been interviewed much less rehired, I will only have to be there for about 3 weeks to see all these changes. Already some of my soon to be former coworkers mentioned that I'm going to be missed because I was the only one assembling charts for new admissions. They never took the time to learn my streamlined system. But it's not rocket science and easy for them to pick up.
          When PHLB transitioned from strictly paper charts to the electronic medical record system, I had the foresight to retain the old paper charts in case of computer down times. Those papers were the only backup system the hospital had which were already preassembled, although separate sheets still existed in cabinets. I also have about 200 chart packs already made which goes with the EMR system, which would have tided over the unit I work in for about 6 weeks before the retained staff would have to make their own. Of course all of those old and new charts would be useless if College Hospital opts for their own forms. They will have to sort out which papers are needed and which are not so they can work together with the EMR without duplication.

          Communicating and taking care of psychiatric patients are ongoing learning processes because no two patients are alike and even a patient behaving a certain way during one hospital stay may not behave the same way next time. Paperwork remains more or less the same and this happens to be my specialty. I'm sure that the retained staff and the rest who will be newly hired will adjust to the new system sooner or later but they will have to take more initiative in doing so. I just take pride in thinking that I learn them sooner than most and find the most efficient way of applying them during the course of my work. Will they really miss me? Perhaps only for a couple of weeks, they they'll adjust and it will be business as usual. Thanks for thinking of me that way though. If only the staff recruiter knew...

p.s. My other posts regarding this matter:
Questions and Concerns at Pacific Hospital - Part 1

Questions and Concerns at Pacific Hospital - Part 5

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