Monday, June 21, 2010

On Electrical Wires and Being Wired

Stop and consider for a moment the diversity of jobs we have in a hospital. Every single job is needed to provide excellent healthcare and a quality experience for each patient.
At GRMC we have about 420 team members and more than 160 different job descriptions…and I am not exaggerating! It takes a lot of people doing a lot of different things to make a hospital operate.

I go on a “workround” with employees as frequently as I can. This entails job shadowing a different employee or whole department of employees learning how they do their work.
Recently, I spent some time with Chris, an electrician in our facilities management department. Together, we rewired the electrical service box in one of the houses we own and use as a short-term rooming house for on call staff, students and/or new associates working to find a new home or apartment. We added the ability to use a generator in the case of a power outage because we use this house during winter storms for staff members stranded or sleeping between shifts.

Chris taught me a couple of useful tips, including turning the wire stripper to a 45 degree angle for an easier wire strip!

Then I was off to the information systems department where our computer geeks hang out. I spent a few hours following around four of the five team members in the nerve center of the hospital. They manage our cell phones, pagers, land-line phone switch, and of course, our computer system that includes hundreds of personal computers. I helped run reports, loaded more RAM into several computers, and replaced some backup tapes. I also got a quick lesson in our new “virtual” servers. I have some sense of computers and IS technology. 2 b sure, I cn txt w my kids & understand most of it. But don’t ask me how a virtual server works other than it’s faster and less expensive! Heidi, Mark, Ruth, and Linda, all gave me an overview of what’s new. I didn’t get to a chance to hang with Matt that day so I will need to pop back in and see what he’s up to. We are immersed in “meaningful use” and preparing for implementing an electronic health record in the next 12-24 months. It’s going to be a very busy time!

Hospitals are indeed made up of a diverse group of people doing all kinds of things all in the name of creating a healing environment for the people who depend on us. I am blessed to work with so many talented and dedicated people.

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