Covid Vax Status, and Our Mental Health Status

We have a monthly Epic Provider Newsletter where we share system updates, and I send CMIO Update paragraph to my colleagues. Here is my update for this month:

With our next Epic system upgrade this week, Covid Vaccine status is now in the patient Storyboard! This is HUGE. It is now instantly visible when opening the chart, if/when the patient was vaccinated. This should help with rapid patient assessments and counseling, since the Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis now morphs into Covid-19 Ongoing Management. Possible Vaccine Statuses include:

  • Unknown (instead of ‘unvaccinated’ we know lots of vaccinations are not in our system; this prompts us to ask)
  • Dose 1 complete (if a 2 dose vaccine)
  • Dose 2 overdue (if late for second)
  • Vaccinated (XX date) if within last 2 weeks
  • Vaccinated

This is a nice improvement in our EHR.

IN PARALLEL, in discussions with colleagues this week, there is a sense that we are emerging from the pandemic. However, the prevalent emotion is not necessarily “relief”. Some say that they feel a sense of PTSD, or symptoms of exhaustion. In my mind, I feel like we have just finished running a sprint and are ready to stop and lie down.

BUT NO, there is no time take a break, it is time to resume the marathon of our regular healthcare jobs. 

We spent the last 15 months putting aside our burnout, putting aside our lives, and putting EVERYTHING into fighting this crisis, hoping to extinguish it.

Now, we put down our crisis tools, and look up and see … no end in sight. There is no way we are all collectively taking a year-long vacation, and our psyche’s are just realizing, now it is back to our regular, difficult jobs.

So, what is YOUR Covid Recovery Status on the grid below?

from: Responder Stress Continuum, via CU Anschutz Psychiatry presentation

We are starting to use this Stress Continuum Model to assess ourselves, and each other. More than ever, we need to take care of ourselves, and each other.

CMIO’s take? I hope all of you DO find a way to ‘take a break’. Although it is not a celebration, we SHOULD recognize that we stood on the front lines of an astounding moment in history. I am proud to have stood with all of you.

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, UCHealth (Colorado); Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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