By Abby S. Van Voorhees, MD, October 01, 2013
The "lightning bolt" moment ... we've all had one.
It has enabled me to take many a bold step both personally and in my work life. For example, when my kids were little I had one of those “ah-ha” moments where I just knew that I wanted to work less than full time. I knew right then and there that I would find a way to make it work while still remaining very devoted to my career. It was not an easy course to plan in those days, but with the clarity of vision that that kind of thinking provides, plans can truly leap forward. Fourteen years ago I had another one of those moments when I decided to leave my practice and head back to academia at Penn. Got many a confused look, but inner clarity prevailed, and I’ve been the happier for it. However, I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of thoughts that circle in my head, and the trickiest part is knowing which ones are going to be visionary. Ideas which seem at first quite profound often dissipate after a few days. I instinctively don’t trust any thoughts I might have while stuck in traffic or waiting for a very early train to get to my office. They might lead me to forego many an event or quit my job! The surgeons among us might disagree — they may always trust that inner voice, so this confusion may reflect more about me than anything more. But whether we all are certain immediately or it takes a little time, I think we’ve all had those occasions where clarity serves us well and guides our paths. As I read over our articles for you this month it occurs to me that some of you may find our pieces triggering those eureka moments.
Our feature this month on moving a practice got me thinking about “lightbulb” moments. Who among us has not thought about this — either because our space was growing too small, our referral patterns were changing, or personal priorities beckoned? We at DW thought it would be of great interest to talk to people who made the decision to move forward with these plans, so that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Remembering to make all of the needed arrangements is certainly key to any such plan. While of course each situation is unique, there is much that can be learned from others who have recently successfully accomplished the task. Remember you can always search “moving a practice” at www.aad.org/dw when it becomes applicable to you. Guess we’ll all need it sometime unless they cart you out of your office in a box!
Lightning moments can also trigger us to do negative things... such as giving up the practice of dermatology. Hopefully Rachna Chaudhari’s guidance on audits will help each of us let that thought go. She understands why we are all feeling somewhat abused given the possibility of RAC audits, HIPAA audits, and now meaningful use audits. It’s enough to make all of us become libertarians! Be sure to read her piece; her advice for handling these meddlesome events will be helpful.
Similarly, Morris Stemp’s piece on health information exchanges (HIEs) will help you navigate our next governmental hassle — the meaningful use stage 2 requirements. They are set for implementation January 2014, although some are lobbying to have this delayed. Eventually it will come, so read on. Stemp helps us better understand what these HIEs are, how they will work, and what is involved in participating in them. Hopefully being informed will keep us all from quitting en masse.
Lots to read and hopefully much to aid you in guiding your practices. Eureka was first shouted by Archimedes when he figured out how to measure the mass of gold, which led to him running naked through the streets of Syracuse. We’d love to see some video footage of any of you running through your local streets when you’ve had your clarifying moments too — promise we’ll put that on the DW website.
Enjoy your reading!