Ok, so yesterday in clinic, I've started a one hour new patient visit. I've see three used patients before the new one and at 10:15ish, the ceiling lights go out.
My laptop keeps working. I stick my head out in the office, and the power is out. I wonder why my one outlet is working until I figure out, duh, battery. The server is dead though so I can't use the EMR.
Switch to paper and keep working.
We are in a 1950s building like an early mall: parking in front and doors facing the lot. It faces due south and has really amazing passive solar. When the sun is out in the winter I have to open the window. Patients complain that the exam room is hot, though Dr. Lizard likes the warmth.
My next patient is also new. A veteran, here with his spouse, he's in a wheelchair. They are formidably organized, bring the medicines in bottles, he is complicated. I am doing paper and will put it in the computer later. I like both new patients. Follow up 3 weeks.
Noon. No power. I check my cell and whoa: the whole east Jefferson county is out! Well, dang. We can't do refills, the phones don't work, the pharmacies don't have power.
We have paper charts at least with phone numbers. I call the 1:00 and 1:30 people on my cell, say we have no power and we reschedule. It's easier to do a new patient than a used one. Back in dinosaur medical school we had to present the patients to the attending physicians by memory in order: chief complaint, history of present illness, past medical, past surgical, allergies, social history, family history, medications, review of systems, physical exam, assessment and plan. All organized, check the stuff off, be complete. We ran around the hospital with 3x5 cards, one card for the history of each new patient. The confusing thing was really day three or four... dang, what were his labs today and now I am mixing his history up with the other two emphysema smoker pneumonia messes....
I go home. The hospital is four blocks from my house. Their generators kicked in. My power comes on at 1:10 about. I am on the hospital grid, so it gets power back first. All the power is back on by about 3 pm.
Back to the clinic at 3:30 to plug everything back in. We have surge protectors, but no sense in messing around so we unplugged everything when we left. Need the phones back on for messages and the incoming faxes. I will go back in today to put in the two new patient notes.
When I leave the clinic, the Food Coop parking lot is entirely full. I wonder... is everyone suddenly buying their emergency supplies? We are vulnerable. A tree took out a transformer.
http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/electrical-power-out-in-all-of-east-jefferson-county/. It was a tree that took out a transformer. Power out for 18,000 people.
Iron Noder: Tokyo Drift 4