SwiftWire: How to speak with aliens who mean well

Written by David Purifoy (Epic Trainer)

I like to think of computers as aliens from another planet who mean well, but are desperately trying to fit in and become a meaningful part of our human race. It’s not just that most of us don’t understand their language, but mostly that they don’t understand our ways and our language. We have sent a few of our kind (programmers and IT analysts) into their world as emissaries, but sadly, too many of them have gotten so fascinated with their alien host’s language and culture that they have forgotten their original purpose: to be the bridge between their culture and ours.

That’s where I fit in. I teach humans to talk to Electronic Medical Records. My role is to bring the incredible talents from these alien devices and make our race more productive and even safer. It is so convenient having a phone in my pocket to text my wife when I travel and a TV to be warned of an incoming storm or disaster. I love seeing pictures and videos of my grandbaby taking her first steps and eating a plate of spaghetti that is more on her, than in her! We can go on and on with computer run devices that we have learned to love.

With the advent of electronic medical record systems, though, we are still struggling to adapt these alien’s good intent with our ways. Physician’s time and ability to cope is being taken to task. Patients all too often, feel ignored. I recently was introduced to a couple of Physicians who decided to take a stab at better communicating with their alien electronic system. They created a Rosetta Stone called SwiftWire. They can talk to their EMR now with incredible ease and speed to accomplish what they used to do on paper in about the same amount of time! Most importantly, the stress relief brings them back to their real purpose — their patients. Now the real plus of any EMR can be appreciated. It can now be read by all and accessed by anyone who needs to see it, just as the aliens promised. Even years later and half way across the world in some cases, notes, orders, lab results and a critical patient’s medical history are right there with just a few clicks.

Now, to be fair, just as in learning the culture and language of people from our own planet who differ from us, we must spend a few salient moments up front getting to know and trust the alien. We can then agree on a few terms and start working together. Once you do that, you understand each other and you both can get back to work doing what you do best. You: understanding and treating your patients. The alien: organizing, remembering the past and letting the rest of the team in on your plan.

In short, with about two hours spent learning SwiftWire and another two or three connecting the dots to your existing EMR and you can accomplish with 5 clicks within one screen, where you now must click 25 to 30 within four screens. You are happy, your patients have your attention and the alien has done its task without fear of harm!!!