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2009-09-06 - 3:28 p.m.

On Friday, I completed my first week at the new job. My assessment of the new gig is as follows:


Yep, that's it.

That was my one word assessment that really sums it all up. I am so glad I made this change! My new place is so state of the art and everything in it is new. That's a great change from the broken down old building I've been working in. As a matter of fact, I've never worked in a building as new as this one.

The bathroom lights turn on when a person walks in and off after they leave. You don't have to touch anything but yourself when you go into the restroom. The toilet, soap dispenser, and sink all have motion sensors and there are no knobs or handles on anything. It's great. You know my pet peeve is a nasty bathroom. They keep it absolutely sterile too. I've never found a mess in there yet. Our offices also have automatic lights. I'm going to actually decorate this office with art and homey touches. Everyone seems to have decorated their offices. The people have been very nice to me and I feel very welcomed and comfortable.

Best of all, I love the electronic medical records. They are absolutely awesome!!!! One example of how E-records are better than paper is the stunning reduction of effort in pretty much every function of chart flow. Here's a little comparative: At the old place when a patient leaves I had to go through the following procedure to process the chart to completion: Go to the nurses station and pick up the chart, pull it out of the hard cover, make it into a bundle, take it to the "chart thinning" storage area to retrieve all the parts where they've thinned the chart, take all this to my office, separate the whole thing and arrange it in chart order, make folders, (one chart usually takes anywhere from 1 - 4)I have to make up the folders with med rec ID stickers and install the fasteners, then punch holes in each page, bind the chart, analyze the chart for missing documents, put in the loose filing, track down every missing thing, flag every spot that needs a signature with color coded flags for each clinician, enter the deficiencies into the med rec software so I can print lists and notify doctors, send out my notices, chase doctors for signatures and dictations, get the DC summaries transcribed, filed, flagged, and signed, take the deficiencies out of the software as they are corrected, and then after every bit is done, I can file it in the permanent storage area as a closed chart. Whew.

Check out my new process with the electronic record: Click over to the report that shows what needs to be signed, notify any doctor who is listed there, doc signs, and TADA, Done!

It's like click click done!

That report pulls up anything that is missing from all the charts at once. We don't do it one chart at a time. And the process is so simple for our doctors, that they just do it. We didn't have to notify anyone of anything during the whole last week. They just did what they were supposed to without being reminded.

So that extremely long and tedious pile of work, multiplied by each and every patient we had at the old place, was my burden ALONE. And that was not even the important part of my job. I stayed there way too long!!!

The focus of my new job is exactly what I wanted it to be: coding and payment optimization. The software computes all the reports for me. Pretty much everything I used to have to do manually is taken care of by the software except the coding. I just have to point and click to run the reports and that's about it. I have software for coding as well. I've been coding for so long that I don't really need the coder, but it's nice to have.

Another good thing about this job is that the lady who has been doing it was not trying to optimize the payment at all so I can see a big opportunity to really upgrade their reimbursement. Only 18% of their cases are "optimized". The place I just left had almost 100% optimized cases, because that's my specialty. In rehab, the percentage won't be as high as it was in my last setting, because they were sicker patients at the old place. Rehab patients are basically healthier patients than the ones in the long term acute setting, but still, I will be able to optimize them in a very obvious, measurable way. They will be very impressed very soon when their statistics increase significantly. I've also spotted some problems that are costing them dollars. I don't want to type out a lesson in rehab reimbursement, so I'll just say there are several areas where certain mistakes take away from your rehab payment. They are making those mistakes. I can fix it. Simple as that.

My company is opening a new facility in a few months and I will have an opportunity for a promotion, I think. I will probably be given the opportunity to go to the new place if I want to and in the next year or two, I expect they will give me the option to be a regional coding manager because I can help them optimize all their locations. That will be a big raise. I'm happy when I can see opportunities in the future.

Another really nice thing about this new job is that the commute is not nearly as bad as I was anticipating and I used less gas than I was expecting. I am traveling against the traffic and that makes it a really smooth commute. So far so good. I looked at apartments and found a good place, but I may not even move, based on the ease of my commute. It's great to be driving away from the city and seeing the lanes on the opposite side all grid locked while I'm flying along unimpeded. It's wonderful because I used to be one of those poor suckers trying to drive into the city in the morning! But no more! Muahahaha!!

I'm going to keep commuting and thinking about moving for the next month and then make a decision about whether or not to move. I would really like to have the bigger apartment with the jacuzzi tub. I might do it just for that. haha

Things are swell in Teetsville.

You know... every time I have considered making a move but was sort of afraid of the unknown, it has turned out very well for me. I even was happy when I went to the last job because I needed to learn some things there and I did learn what I needed. Bosshole was nice to me at first because it takes him awhile to get comfortable enough with someone new to let his inner assclown fully free. In time, I came to understand why everyone seemed afraid of him.

I think that maybe a change of work environment every now and then keeps things fresh. Let's face it, work is boring. Especially when it's the same old thing every day for a long time. I hope I continue to love this new job, but there is comfort in knowing that this company is opening several more facilities and I can move and change things up if I need to. We're going to do a hospital in Austin, Texas and I am seriously thinking I might move over there when we do it. I hear nothing but good things about Austin and "Texas Hill Country". I like the bumper sticker that says "Keep Austin weird". Weird is good. I've always kind of thought Austin might be my kind of city. I'm going to make a few weekend trips over there and check it out with relocation in mind. I was born near there, you know. I'm a native Texan who was just away for a really long time.

I guess my advice to people in general would be make some changes! Go for it! Have the nerve to radically change your life every now and then. It makes life better, fresher, and more exciting. I was raised in a military family and we moved a lot. I have that gypsy blood and I can make a home anywhere because of the early life experiences I had. If you make a change and it just SUCKS and you are filled with regret, make another change. It's good if you develop a skill that not many other people have so you can sort of pick and choose your opportunities. That's really key. I've worked to get where I am, but I was also very LUCKY that the thing I liked and sort of stayed with over the years turned into something that is in demand.

I'm going shopping tomorrow. It's time to do Christmas shopping already and I need stuff for my new office. It's rainy here today but the forecast is for sunny weather tomorrow. I'm happy about this long weekend. I think all work weeks should be 4 days at the most.

I hope all is well with you, Gentle Reader.

Happy Labor Day!


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