Digital Health Most Wired, Level 10 at UCHealth – Colorado

Congratulations and thank you to the hundreds in the IT, operations, nursing and medical leadership who helped reach this pinnacle.

The Most Wired Hospitals award has morphed over the years. The current standard is a rating by CHIME (College of Health Information Management Executives) of a level of technical and operational achievement for being Digital Health’s Most Wired, with notable success being at levels 7, 8, 9.

In the first year that CHIME hosted this award in 2019, we were one of three organizations achieving level 10. Last year, we were one of 7, and this year – 2022, we are one of 18. 

We learn from each other. Lets hope the stage gets increasingly crowded with recipients of Wired Level 10 in future years.

My Gratitude Letter (to Dr. Fred Platt), and why you should write one too

Learning to write a gratitude letter is worthy exercise, for both the writer and the recipient. There are surprises here …

In our wellness work, we learn surprising things about ourselves.

First, that expressing gratitude benefits both the giver and the recipient, in terms of mood and overall health.

Best of all, giving gratitude, unlike carefully wrapped, commercially-obtained holiday gifts, is FREE.

One particular activity worth noting, is the GRATITUDE LETTER.
Here’s how to do it.
Write a letter to someone for whom you are grateful, and tell them why.
Make an appointment to see them in person.
Read the letter out loud to them.

The research tells us that both the giver and recipient receive a months-long boost in mood from that event.

WHY DO WE NOT DO THIS ALL THE TIME?!

Reader, I did this last week. I’m here to tell you how it went. One of my mentors is Dr. Fred Platt, author of many peer-reviewed articles and books on Physician-Patient Communication: Field Guide to the Difficult Patient Interview, and the Annals of Internal Medicine’s Words that Matter series, including “Let me see if I have this right …“. In later years, he wrote poetry.

He helped me get started in academic medicine, in teaching medical students, in learning how to be an excellent communicator, in being a better doctor, a better colleague, a better human being.

Now, decades later, his health declining, I wrote him a letter, made an appointment, and drove to see him. He only had the energy for a 30-minute visit, but loved the letter enough to have his wife and I read it to him twice.

Not a dry eye in the house.

I will miss you, Dr. Platt. Thank you.


November, 2022

Dear Fred

Thank you for the chance to tell you how you’ve changed my life.

I met you at the Bayer Institute CPC Workshop: Clinician-Patient Communication to Improve Health Outcomes. You facilitated a group of 16 junior faculty in Internal Medicine in 1997, and taught me, among other things, Reflective Listening: “So, it sounds like you’re having some belly pain, and it is going down to the right side, and you think it is … gout? Do I have that right?”

I learned about Ideas, Feelings and Values, and it changed my life. I became a Bayer-certified Communications Facilitator to follow your footsteps.

You took me under your wing, you re-ignited my passion for patient care, and gently taught me tools for difficult conversations: “On the one hand you think … On the other hand I worry …”

You co-founded Foundations of Doctoring at University of Colorado. Our initial trials at teaching communication in lecture halls met with abject failure. 160 students at the first lecture, and only 5 come to the second one.

We repeatedly redesigned the course until it really sang: 1 standardized patient, 4 student learners coaching each other, and a facilitator guiding ILS: Invite, Listen, Summarize. I use and teach these tools today to incoming students.

You generously asked me to co-author numerous communications papers, published in several journals, including the series WORDS THAT MATTER in the Annals of Internal Medicine. We discussed a number of delightful cases, including the case of the patient who ate too many pies at work, and wanted to claim workman’s compensation, prompting an outburst from my resident.

For this computer-geek doctor, you taught me compassion and connection and relationship-building. These are my guiding principles to this day. In my national travels and talks that I give in the Informatics world, there are few who have had a mentor like you.

I am proud to teach your ideas that words matter, communication matters, relationships matter.

I’ve learned over the years, that I have an internal Judge voice, who sounds suspiciously like my father, and an internal Sage voice, who I call Fred.

I am so grateful for your teaching, your counsel, your collegiality, and your friendship.

Thank you, Fred.

With Love
CT Lin
Chief Medical Information Officer, UCHealth
Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado

 

Wide-Ranging Interview w This Week Health (CT Lin and Bill Russell)

Bill and I chat about Info Blocking, Anticipatory Guidance, Inbasket Redesign, a 350% increase in portal messages, a one-page pediatric medical record, and more!

I’ve made it to the big time! I enjoyed chatting with Bill about Burnout, documentation, inbasket, messaging online, and information blocking in a 15 minute chat in the hallways at CHIME 22 fall forum in San Antonio. See link above.

Science Communication Secrets (Wired.com, XKCD’s Randall Monroe on What If 2?)

Don’t think about it as if people aren’t smart. Think about it like people are busy.

From wired.com, Randall Monroe

https://www.wired.com/story/randall-munroe-is-back-to-answer-your-impossible-questions/

We scientists need to talk gooder. Randall is an excellent example of taking complex scientific ideas and making them understandable and relatable. I love his quote above:

“Don’t think of it like people aren’t smart. Think about it like people are busy.”

This is a paradigm shift for science (and all) writers: respect your audience. People know when they’re being talked down to.

This reminds me of one-page executive summaries to get your point across quickly.

CMIO’s take? Not only is Randall funny, see his http://xkcd.com comic series, but he is also insightful. Get his book, read his strip, its all good.

Password B-Gone! Reducing the EHR burden

Does your EHR require re-entering password from prescribers to transmit a non-controlled med to pharmacy? For UCHealth the answer was “yes” until this week.

Here is a copy of our broadcast email that goes out to the 2000 members of the University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty and staff every week: our Wellness Wednesday.
Thank you to the Epic IT and Informatics teams for helping design and implement the REMOVAL of password requirements for prescribing an outpatient prescription or renewal.
How big is this news? At UCHealth, we wrote 7 million prescriptions last year.
Passwords are still required at login to the Epic EHR, but the re-typing of passwords for non-controlled (eg, non-opiate, non-stimulant, non-benzodiazepine etc) prescriptions is no longer held to be a safety concern. Furthermore, the technical and policy hurdles for this removal have been discussed and addressed.
This is a lot less typing burden in the EHR. You’re welcome! Look for more improvements from our Informatics and Epic teams in months to come.
CT Lin MD | Professor, CU School of Medicine | CMIO, UCHealth

DALL-E Mini Is the Internet’s Favorite AI Meme Machine (Wired.com)

https://www.wired.com/story/dalle-ai-meme-machine/

How can this be real? Read the story above at Wired.com.

I typed “Elephants breakdancing at midnight” into the prompt, and seriously, about a minute later I get this on my screen.

Let’s not go into why that sentence came out of my head thru my fingers, and instead focus on the technology. There is an AI, with the internet as infinite visual resource, that can now take brief text prompts and then render them for your viewing pleasure.

This is mind-blowing. Here’s “Frolicking Flying Cars”

Here’s “A family of dolphins using iPhones in the style of Picasso”

Here’s “Speed skating in the style of a Chinese landscape painting”

 

What is real? What is imaginary? Who drew this? Try it yourself at http://www.craiyon.com !

Secrets of “Covid Brain Fog” are starting to lift (Wired.com)

https://www.wired.com/story/the-secrets-of-covid-brain-fog-are-starting-to-lift/

Image from Wired.com. Link to story above.

Precise Science

Instead of “Brain Fog” from Covid, we can now say “a loss of oligodendrocytes” and “microglial reactivity” are causes of decreased memory, cognitive sharpness and fatigue post Covid infection.

I love that our smart scientist colleagues are linking out to the chemotherapy and other viral research literature to find common threads and discover the basis for such puzzling syndromes.

20-50%!

I DON’T love the ongoing Covid infection numbers, the lack of masking, the decrease in vaccinations, as about 20 to 50% of all new Covid infections develop into forms of Long Covid, with Brain Fog being a long-term common symptom.

Even as the risk of hospitalizations fall with the latest Covid variant, the risk of Long Covid has not. We should all be concerned about this. Stay safe out there, colleagues. We need your brain power.

Dig Deeper: A Case Report of Finding (and Fixing) the Root Cause of Add-On Laboratory Failures

Excess venipunctures can be caused by Electronic Health Record-related factors. By doing a root cause analysis, we eliminated about 1000 unnecessary blood draws monthly. Cool informatics work by smart colleagues.

Link to the paper in Pubmed:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35913087/