• I’m a solo pediatrician in a small town (pop. ~9,500) in the rural flatlands of central Ohio.
• I’m on call for neonatal emergencies and C-sections 24/7/365.
• I love living in and serving my small community; I’m the medical director for the county health department, a member of the town planning commission, a local United Way board member, a Rotarian, a member of the local hospital Foundation Board, and have a spot on our town’s Bicentennial planning group.
• In the last three years, my true “vacations” have totaled 3 days.
• Our busy little practice serves a rural populace: about 65% of our families are Medicaid.
• I locally host our EHR on two servers and am it locally as far as IT for our office.
• My three wonderful employees started off almost fully computer-illiterate. (OK, one knew how to turn a computer on, one didn’t, and one called the mouse a “duck.” Seriously.)
• I spent hours upon hours researching more than 200 EHRs, demoed scores of systems, and went into deep detail on the finalists before deciding upon an EHR for our office.
• Life in my trench includes traffic “jams” of six cars and friends who know me before I’ve ever seen them. It allows for a trip to the post office, a bank deposit, picking up a prescription from the pharmacy, grabbing a forgotten paper from my home, and being back to the office, literally, in less than twenty minutes. There are Scout meetings, sports, school functions, and homework. I insist upon family time and some (admittedly brief) down time.
• I don’t miss big city life in the least.
OK, so that was finance, not healthcare IT. I suppose it’ll work better this time.
First posted on HIStalkPractice.com, May 27, 2009.