â€œLet me get this straight,â€ Mike said, spinning a chair around and straddling it. Shannon had come by the restaurant, since the kids were visiting their grandparents for the weekend. It seemed as though Mikeâ€™s hours at the restaurant were getting longer every week, so this was a good way for Shannon to get a little extra time with her husband.
It also gave her a chance to follow up on the work issue that sheâ€™d had on her mind.
â€œSo it turns out that this particular regulation — the ONC-certified electronic health records — doesnâ€™t apply to physical therapists,â€ Shannon said, scooping up a spoonful of stew. â€œMmmm, this is delicious!â€
â€œProblem solved!â€ said Mike. â€œYou can ignore the new regulation.â€
â€œProblem solved in the sense that I wonâ€™t face penalties,â€ Shannon agreed. â€œBut thereâ€™s more to it than that.â€
Mike cocked an eyebrow.
â€œYou know that most of our business comes from referrals,â€ his wife continued.
â€œSure,â€ said Mike. â€œReferrals from doctors, hospitals, and so forth.â€
â€œSo as I was calling around to find out what was going on, I kept hearing one thing: â€˜Please use something compatible with our system!â€™ No matter what else they told me, and it seemed like everyone just had one piece of the picture, the conversation always ended with them hoping our systems would match theirs.â€
Mike frowned. â€œAre they all using the same system?â€
Shannon had hardly begun her answer when a crash from the kitchen caught Mikeâ€™s attention. â€œHold that thought!â€ he said as he ducked away.
Shannon turned her attention to the stew and crusty baguette Mike had provided for her. Of course they werenâ€™t all using the same system, she thought — that would make it too easy. And of course the software that was perfect for the local surgical hospital might not be just right for her business, anyway.
She explained as much to Mike when he returned, a little redder in the face but still calm and cheerful.
â€œIt sounds as though youâ€™ll need to get on board whether youâ€™re actually required to or not,â€ he said, â€œand youâ€™ll also have to take your major strategic partnersâ€™ choices into account as you make your decisions.â€
Shannon finished her meal and leaned back, gazing at her husband. â€œWhy canâ€™t I take these things as calmly as you do? You havenâ€™t even mentioned the crash in the kitchen.â€
â€œWhy get worried about it?â€ Mike shrugged. â€œIf you worry about it beforehand, then you suffer over it twice. If you worry about it after itâ€™s over, then you suffer three times. Once is enough.â€
The hostess was headed for their table, so Shannon settled back to see whether Mike could take his own advice. Would he get flustered by the problem she was bringing him?
Mike smiled at the hostess as she came up. â€œHow can I help?â€ he asked.
â€œActually,â€ the hostess smiled back, â€œI just came to say you two should go on home. The rush is over and we can handle it from here.â€
Mike smiled even more broadly. â€œThanks, Coral. Iâ€™ll see you tomorrow night, then.â€ He pulled out Shannonâ€™s chair and put his arm around her shoulder as they walked to the door.
It was a slow progress, since Mike stopped to shake hands and chat. It gave Shannon time to think about what he had said. She guessed he was right about worrying, but only if she took action.
Shannon has options when it comes to EHR — but whatâ€™s the best choice for her business?
Disclaimer: For HIPAA compliance, all characters appearing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons or actual events is purely coincidental.