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Noble Profession of EMR Employment

Posted on August 16, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I recently came across this really interesting Wall Street Journal blog post. In it a recent college graduate gives a nice rendition of the challenge of changing from student to employee. Turns out, this newly minted graduate has found work at the popular healthcare IT software company: Epic.

Of course, the fact that Epic is hiring a recent college graduate should come as no surprise to anyone in the EMR and healthcare IT field. Epic has long been a haven for new graduates since their hiring practices seem to favor training new blood as opposed to hiring experienced EMR practitioners.

However, reading the above post made me think back to when I first got hired for a job working with an electronic medical record. This part of the blog post really hit home (emphasis mine):

Starting Aug 1, I will be calling Madison home. As a project manager for Epic Systems, I will be working with hospitals from start to finish on implementing health care information technology. This position is a wonderful opportunity to work in a young, fast-paced environment with a high level of independence, not to mention a fair amount of travel (which is perfect for an adventurous 21-year-old). Best of all, the ability to help improve patient care, create better processes and in general aid hospital systems is just the kind of feel-good work I was looking for at the beginning of my job search. Preparing to work every day on a beautiful and themed campus that is sure to leave any architecture buff or Indiana Jones fan speechless, I couldn’t be any more excited to begin this next chapter.

While I’m sure we could have a fascinating conversation about some of the points this girl makes about working at Epic, the part in bold took me back to when I had a similar vision.

I remember all too well telling so many people that I was going to have the opportunity working with an EMR to transform the way someone’s healthcare would be provided. I mean, I had the chance to be able to possibly even save people’s lives.

Turns out that I haven’t thought too much about this perspective in the last 5 years. Sure, I guess it’s always in the back of the mind. The focus on patients has always been paramount for me. I believe I truly have made the patient experience and patient care better in the work I’ve done.

Maybe time has just jaded me to too many things and the romance is gone. Certainly I still could be helping to save lives. I guess sometimes the minutiae of what we call work gets in the way of remembering the bigger picture of what’s possible. Maybe that’s why Epic is smart to hire so many recent college grads.

Personal Health Records in the Form of a Digital Dog Tag

Posted on I Written By

Dog tags may be one of the simplest and oldest forms of identification and health information that we have.  They first appeared in some form during the Civil War and are still in use by the military today.  These vital pieces of ID provide information such as name, service, and religion.  More importantly they provide basic health information such as blood type and known allergies.

Asahi Kasei, a Japanese technology company, is taking the dog tag to the next level with the development of a “digital dog tag”.  This small RFID tag contains your personal health record providing on the spot data to healthcare providers using a phone or a laptop.  The tag uses Sony’s FeliCa smart card technology which is already in use on numerous Japanese devices.

Within a matter of seconds a paramedic, or clinician, can use compatible equipment to retrieve your entire medical history.  If larger files are required the tag can also provide the links necessary to access information on external servers.

It really isn’t that expensive either.  The device should come onto the market within the next year for about $25.  That really is quite reasonable for a 3x3cm card that could be the difference between living and dying.