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by Our manager in practice
22 December 2008

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Cracking the new computer system and wrapping things up for Christmas

Last time around, I talked about our imminent change of computer system in one of the practices – and wondered how many toys would leave the pram!

Well, to start with, all was ok. Everything took far longer of course once everyone tried to remember how to do things. Then came the realisation that they really should have attended more of those training sessions and put in more time on the trial system.

Recently, we have reached the point where all toys went out of the pram big time! This came as the backlog of work threatened to overwhelm as, one by one, another member of staff was struck down by the bug.

So some serious smoothing and stroking later, we seem to be back on course. The major problem for me when things go a bit pear-shaped is the knee-jerk over-reaction from the other partners! They really panic when the staff are a bit unhappy and when, horror of horrors, some leave!

Of course, things always come to a head when I’m not here for a day … the cynical side of me says they do this on purpose – and, of course, this means the partners panic even more!

The good news is that we really do think there are many advantages in the new system over the old one (just as well or we would be in a mess!). An added bonus for me is that both practices I manage are now on the same system. Needless to say there has been much “acquiring” of templates, etc, and every conversation in one practice seems to start with: “Could you just show me how to …”

So we’ve nearly cracked that one and the silly season is here. You know the scenario: patients keep coming in spluttering and coughing everywhere, one by one the staff call in sick – and then the PCT slips out a LES or two, or some other “golden” opportunity, and the deadline for reply is 24 December or 5 January!

Still, ever the optimist and keeping in good cheer, I will bite back the immediate reply (never reply to PCT emails before counting to 10 and making more coffee) and of course meet every deadline – that’s what practice managers do! Not this afternoon, though, as the far more important deadline is sorting last-minute presents!

I hope you all have a very relaxing and merry Christmas, and I wish everyone a happy, prosperous and above all healthy 2009.