Out of the Frying Pan?

June 24, 2011
The day I walked away from the hospital was one of the happiest days of my life. Much as I truly believe in the mission of service, let’s face it, we
The day I walked away from the hospital was one of the happiest days of my life. Much as I truly believe in the mission of service, let’s face it, we can burn out. Sometimes, you question if you are really making a difference. And knowing what I know about the financial state of hospitals today, I just stopped seeing it as a secure job. Truth is, I think that working at Healthcare Informatics, I can do even more than I could at the hospital. If even one CIO gets an idea that can help his or her hospital deliver better care, that works for me. So every day I thank whatever fate brought me here.

But I’m worried. I’m worried about my ex-colleagues. And my current ones.

I knew our hospitals were on shaky ground before, and changes in reimbursements, and the subsequent razor thin margins and skeleton staffing were only going to get worse. But look where we are now. This latest financial crisis is more serious than many believe, I think. How the HELL are hospitals going to stay afloat, much less move forward with technologies that improve patient care is beyond me. Just last week I was talking to a senior executive at a hospital, a real financial wiz, who was asked by the CEO to delay retirement in order to help keep the hospital afloat until the markets stabilized. Scary stuff. And how many hospitals recently went under?

So I’m glad I’m out of that. But I wonder if we’ll be affected here at the magazine. Out of the frying pan into the fire? I guess all I can do is keep on doing the best I can, and hope that hospital people choose carefully where they turn to for help and advice. .

If you work at a hospital, you’re probably doing the same thing I am. The best you can.

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