Ink & Bourbon
Tilting at windmills. Because those windmills think they're better than us.

Why I am a Luddite

by Patrick LeClerc
Non-fiction. 2 minutes.

So, at the local hospital, they have a shiny new computerized medical records system which allows nurses to pull up patient charts on the computer and view all the relevant history, meds, allergies, etc and add documentation right there.

Sounds great, right.

Well, so did the Titanic.

Ok, the problem is that now, instead of the old way when I dropped off a patient, where the nurse would walk into the room with me --maybe with a pen and paper or maybe like a really good waitress, just her perfect memory -- take my report, help get the patient moved over to the hospital cot, switch over the EKG leads, take vitals and start treatment, now they need to Pull Up The Record.

Here's a quick example of the old Stone Age way we did things, and the New Improved way.

Stone Age Emergency Medicine.

We arrive at ER. Go straight into a room with the patient. A nurse and a tech come in with us, the tech helps move the patient, the nurse poises her pen.

Nurse: What'cha got.

Medic: This is Bob. He's 56, and awoke this morning with 8 of 10 crushing chest pain radiating to his jaw and down his left arm. Took two of his own nitro tabs without relief. On our arrival he was pale, cool, sweaty, radial pulse of 92. EKG was sinus rhythm, 12 lead shows elevation in V2,3 and 4, BP 150/90, lung sounds clear, denies shortness of breath, nausea, or dizziness. Past history of high blood pressure, past MI [Myocardial Infarction, or heart attack] insulin dependent diabetic. Takes [lists meds] allergic to [lists]. We started a 20 gauge IV normal saline in his left hand, gave 325 mg of aspirin, two sublingual nitro, patient had some relief, states pain is now 4 of 10. O2 at 4 liters, here are the bloods we drew. Any questions?

Nurse: Nope. Sounds good

Door to treatment time: 30 seconds.

New and Improved Emergency Medicine

Patient into room. Nurse out at computer, tech comes in to help.

Medic: Ok, this is Bob--

Tech: I can't take report.

M: Ah.

*moves patient over, not giving report. Goes out to computer where nurse is typing with both fingers.*

Nurse: What'cha got?

M: 56 year old male--

N: What's the name?

M: Uhm, Robert Lamontaigne. So, he's 56, woke up with--

N: How do you spell that?

M: -a-i-g-n-e. So, woke with 8 of 10 chest pain--

N: (to screen) Dammit. Do you have his date of birth?

M: Yeeaaaaaah...hang on... *looks at notes* ...May 12, 1956. So, 8 of 10 crushing--

N: Does he still live at 104 Oak Street?

M: Yeah. Sure. So two nitro with no relief--

N: Past Medical history?

M: Uh..high BP, lemme see...yeah, MI in '07, and insulin dependent--

N: Dammit! Is his PCP still Steinberg?

M: *blinks* Not a clue.

N: *to patient* Mr Lamontaigne! Do you still have Doctor Steinberg?

Bob: For my heart I have some Indian guy.

N: Patel?

B: Sounds right. The pain is coming back...

M: Yeah, so, chest pain. Got nitro and aspirin. Here's his EKG. IV in his--

N: You guys gave Oxygen?

M: No. Wait! Yeah. 4 liters. So he was in a sinus rhythm with ST changes in leads--

N: *sighs* Why won't this enter? Ok, Meds?

M: *completely lost train of report, grasping at straws* Uh...aspirin...um... Here *hands med list to nurse* So, he was pale, cool and --

N: *looking at list* Mr Lamontaigne, what do you take the Prednisone for?

B: Oh, I stopped that last May. I feel kinda dizzy...

*Partner signing frantically. Either we have a bad call or she really needs coffee.*

M: *rips page from notebook, hands over with EKG printout and med list* Yeah, have fun with Bob, here, we have a call...

N: *muttering to self* These Paramedics can't keep their reports straight.

Door to treatment time: Like a month. Dunno. I left while she was slapping the computer and yelling. Bob was looking worse than when I found him.

God, I love progress!


Books by Patrick LeClerc


Immortal Vagabond Healer Series

Book 1

Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc

Sean Danet is immortal—a fact he has cloaked for centuries, behind enemy lines and now a paramedic’s uniform. Having forgotten most of his distant past, he has finally found peace. But there are some things you cannot escape, however much distance you put behind you.

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Book 2

Spitting Image by Patrick LeClerc

Immortal Sean Danet can heal others with a touch. Finally, after too long as a rootless vagabond, he has found a place he feels he belongs, with friends he can trust and the love of an intelligent, beautiful woman. The life he dreamed of but never expected to attain.

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Short Historical Adventures

Advancing on Paris by Patrick LeClerc

One of the problems with being immortal is you get to live through all of history's most famous blunders. Like Napoleon's inspired idea for a land war in Asia. If you love historical military fiction, action and adventure, or just one of the sexiest urban fantasy heroes of all, Advancing on Paris is a must.

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More Great Fiction from Patrick LeClerc


in Every Clime and Place by Patric LeClerc

Semper Fidelis. The motto of the United States Marine Corps. On the ragged edges of civilization, Corporal Michael Collins has lived those words, taking on riots and evacuations, rebels and terrorists. Asteroid belt patrol is just another deployment. Ninety nine percent boredom, one percent terror.

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Broken Crossroads by Patrick LeClerc

The city of Laimrig, once a mighty hub of commerce and a seat of power sinks into corruption and decay. Slavers, crime lords and corrupt officials hold sway while the ruling nobility wallow in decadence. War rages beyond the borders, while within rebellion simmers and sinister plots unfold.

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