Ch Ch Ch Changes!

As I sit here on the eve of July 4th, I can’t help feeling scared. Change is a’ comin’ and soon. As of August 1st my life is about to change dramatically. I start a year long project with the state of Vermont “Blueprint for Health” assisting medical practices in becoming leaner, more efficient and able to serve their patients better. It’s relatively simple work as transformation work goes, but it is going to fun and I’m looking forward to being able to replicate modules of improvement strategies over many practices.

The change is going to be with my life and work routines. I haven’t been in regular work since 2012, and it is going to be a shock to get back into the rhythm necessary to work like this. Normal days consist of getting up around 6, showering etc then setting off to whichever practice is on the schedule that day. Spending a few hours with them where you go through a series of carefully planned meetings and activities, then returning to the office for reporting, follow up and planning for the next day. Every day. It’s – well – it’s work, as the rest of the world sees it. I know i’ve done it so much before that it will take a couple of days before it becomes normal once more, but the anticipation of that transition period is scary as hell.

That wouldn’t be so bad if that were all that were happening in the next month. Last week I also was asked to take on a project with a hospital system which is working on implementing process improvements which result in achieving the requirements of the “meaningful use” designation. Basically this is a series of requirements of a practice that pertain to the implementation of their Electronic Health Record (EHR) and practice management systems. It’s good stuff. I’ve seen enough examples where practices have dove headlong into implementing an EHR system because they were being incentivized to do so, without really understanding what that would do to the day to day workflow of a practice. The Meaningful Use requirements and subsequent designation have been thought out well so that achieving this status will ensure the practice has a baseline level of competency in not just the implementation of the electronic systems, but the usage and interfacing of them also. Of course, practices are not doing this for the good of their health (pun intended). They are being guided in this direction by medicare rules from the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) which assign levels of procedural reimbursement based on your standing regarding these criteria. Not doing this can cause a powerful hit to the financial picture of a practice, so it is in their best interests to make sure it happens.

All of that is going to happen in the last two weeks of July, before the main work with the Blueprint for Health, which has eaten into my mental preparation time even further. It’s good though. I can use the kickstart, and the knowledge is going to be very transferable to the new project as well. Better service for my clients.

Lastly – personal changes are rife right now. My divorce has finally been filed, and we are now in the process of splitting up final assets. It’s been a long time since separation but we have used that time to resolve all our issues and design a life that works for us and our daughter. I’m happy and proud of the way we’ve managed to do this and insulate her from the majority of the change that could have been if things had been more acrimonious. We even did it without lawyers! (Well – we did use mediators but that was a good experience also).

So it’s all about change right now. As with any change, it can be good and bad. I’m concentrating on the good, and minimizing the possibilities for the bad. The corner has been turned. I feel better. I’m excited. I’m ready to hit the road again.

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