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I could, if pushed, just say “enough is enough” – By Nicola Davies

by in Funny, IT & Technology

I could, if pushed, just say “enough is enough” - By Nicola Davies(Time to read: 4 minutes)

By Nicola Davies

I’m writing this piece in a moment of solitude and reflection. No, I haven’t gone mad before you ask. I’m just taking a breather because honestly, it feels like the whole world is against me at the moment. Probably a tad over-dramatic but you know me by now!

We are 24 hours away from a migration to a new computer system. The move has been relatively smooth, but definitely NOT painless.  The amount of data that hasn’t transferred in one piece is giving me a large headache; the number of tasks that we have to do behind the scenes is causing my blood pressure to rise – and if one more person tells me they are a bit anxious about working on the new system, I shall have an aneurysm! I cannot tell you how much training has been provided, how much support has been given, how much discussion we have had about the before, during and after phase. And yet, still they sweat.  Documents are being copied, records are being retrieved – all to ensure that everything that should go into the new notes will go into the new notes – but are they happy? What do you think?!

I have a plan for this, a system for that, a process to cover the ‘unlikely-but-possible’. I have done the hand-holding, copied out training notes, reminded people to log in and ‘have a play’, “don’t be anxious” I say… ”I’ll be around if you have any problems”. The fact that we’ll have official trainers on site for the first five days is neither here nor there, obviously. But I am on board to soothe the fevered brow, to wipe away the tears (there will undoubtedly be some – probably mine) as we move into the 21st century, at long last.

I know that any change can be viewed with suspicion, and often, we as managers, must do our utmost to ensure that we have crossed all the T’s and dotted all the I’s. It is our job after all to remember everything, to plan for every eventuality and ensure that no stone is left unturned in our role as the ‘All Seeing-All Knowing Oracle’. However, sometimes, just once, I’d like to be left alone in my office (with a bar of chocolate) and not have to solve every bloomin’ problem, before it’s actually become a problem. I know that’s a lot to ask, and part of my Control Freak nature is a need to be in several different places at once making sure that everything I want to happen is actually happening in exactly the way I want it to happen Not much to ask, surely?!

I have messed with my diary so I can go to the branch sites on different days to support different people. I have made sure that my work is up to date by scheduling bills to be paid in advance, I’ve emailed people to say I won’t be available on particular days, just in case. I’ve sorted out communications for patients to let them know what’s happening and will they be ‘patient’ patients. I’ve spent additional time playing with the new system so I don’t get caught out by someone who thinks I’m a know-it-all but they might just prove me wrong!

Consequently, my stress levels are now at a peak. I’m an insomniac by nature, and this isn’t helping – and I have to confess, not aided by the fact that I’m trying to assist my mother in the sale of her house up t’north, organising remotely, the sale of my house in Gloucestershire whilst simultaneously trying to sort out a mortgage on a new property down here in sunny Cornwall (which unfortunately still isn’t that sunny) and that’s all getting rather complicated to say the least!

I am trying to retain my sense of humour and optimism;  I’m trying very hard to keep a lid on my frustration; I’m also trying extremely hard to keep things ‘light and breezy’ as I keep saying it will be all right… it will be all right… it will; won’t it?!

There doesn’t appear to be any respite at the moment, and I’m also having to work at the weekend while the IT guys come in with new bits of kit that we need for our 21st Century Leap.  Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic would be a far easier task at the moment! And whilst I could, if pushed, just say “enough is enough”, I won’t, because THAT isn’t in my nature.

Am I therefore to blame for my stress level being so high? Probably.

Could I operate in a slightly different, less ‘control-freaky’ kind of way? Definitely.

Will I effect such a change in my behavior? I doubt it.

I’m far too old to be changing my ways at this late stage, although, as we brave this bold new computer system, this old dog will have to learn a few new tricks, won’t she?!

By Nicola Davies

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Nicola Davies

Nicola Davies

Practice Manager regularly ranting about the NHS. 30 years in Primary Care and still getting irritated by constant change for change sake!

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8 Responses to “I could, if pushed, just say “enough is enough” – By Nicola Davies”
  1. Avatar
    Elaine Parker-Boyd Says:

    Wow, just wow. The house moves and assisting your mum with is what I’m impressed with. You haven’t forgotten the important things.

    Seems like you are the only one with the passion for this migration and yet it will hopefully make everyone life easier.

    I for one is congratulating you on all the preparation you have done because this is on top of business as usual. We don’t pack parachutes however you have provided lots of safety nets for your team and will probably try to be in two places at once. If it gets a bit wobbly then it’s because of there fear of change not your lack of planning.

    Well done, take a breather you have done a tremendous job.

    Reply

  2. Avatar
    Debbie Jolly Says:

    Oh dear I feel your pain ! having been through 3 software changes in my time here – changing to Emis PCS then at Docs Request 3 years later changing to SystmOne TPP then at CCG request 4 years later changing to Emis Web (which we should have done in the first place) !
    It’s not easy, very stressful, but it’s all about communication to staff and patients and then managing the training well – as I remember each time all staff clamouring for the Trainer, but I set out a schedule and made sure each staff member both clinical and non-clinical made a list of what they needed to be trained on for their jobs … as further down the line you can then all share your knowledge with each other … and it does get better !

    Reply

  3. Avatar
    SJG Says:

    Ah Nicola, another good rant from our ex-Glos colleague – love it.
    I can empathise with all your emotions and of course, if your staff are worried, then so are you.
    When I moved us to another system (also complicated with branch sites), I took the view that it will go wrong, there will be tears, we will get lost in the system and patients will grumble but do you know what….we will get through it. If you can be chilled about it, then the staff will take their lead from you.
    Balloons, sweets, biscuits and a copy of Monty Pythons “always look on the bright side” should get you through it!!
    Remember to praise everyone afterward…the world didn’t grind to a halt and the business kept running.
    Lots and lots of luck…and for goodness sake, book a holiday!

    Reply

  4. Avatar
    Karen Says:

    It will be fine… Eventually. Staff as usual will surprise you and infuriate in equal measure and not the ones you expect. Hope you manage to kidnap the trainers for more than a day. They do have a habit of disappearing. Good luck and look forward to that relaxing glass of something cool tomorrow evening.

    Reply

  5. Avatar
    KDB Says:

    Hope all is going well! Whatever ‘hic-ups’ there are the end of the day will come – as above I am sure that some staff resilience is being shown! – a w/e to recover!!

    Reply

  6. Avatar
    Nicola Davies Says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone – it’s been busy that’s for sure – and 2 docs due back from holibobs next week so THAT’s going to be interesting!!!
    A hefty dose of gin and I’ll be fine – oh and chocolate of course!!

    Reply

  7. Avatar
    Steve Mowatt Says:

    Hope the first day is going well Nic!
    Remember, despite the long winded job descriptions that exist for our role it basically boils down to two acronyms –
    F.O.A.K – Font Of All Knowledge and
    S.O.A.P – Solver Of All Problems

    My first boss used to say “Regardless of how the day is going, midnight always comes”

    The majority of us have the same thoughts as you and, if push came to shove, we could always adapt our situations to leave and do something else. But we don’t – because we are ever so slightly masochistic and power crazy!

    Reply

  8. Avatar
    Marie Says:

    You’re a paranoid planner, just like me.

    I brought in oodles of chocolate when we switched systems: Maltesers; Aero bubbles; Minstrels etc,etc. and what was left over from Christmas.

    It all helped to keep the blood pressure down and whilst their mouths were full of chocolate they couldn’t stress or moan.

    Even with the best and most meticulous planning there will be the odd thing that doesn’t go to plan. It happens – IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. Chocolate keeps them sweet every time!

    You’ve thoroughly planned. It will be fine.

    Good luck

    Reply

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