Mid-week burnout relief

What do I get?

Do less work and get more done!

The strategy:

Stop multi-tasking to boost productivity

The tools:

A recent article shared by Nir Eyal, author of “Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products” highlights something many of us know already but probably need to be thinking about more. Too much “multi-tasking”! I enjoyed Nir’s article, and I think it’s a good reminder to look for ways we may be distracting ourselves from being productive with our best efforts to do good work.

Link to the article:


The Mystery of SwiftWire Demo Videos

We’ve been getting loads of requests for demo’s of what SwiftWire can do to automate an EHR.  We are absolutely working on it.  We developed our software to automate Epic, and because of Epic’s policy we cannot show live screens on the open web.  While you are waiting, please feel free to contact us with any questions at all.  We love to geek out!


We are live on GitHub!


SwiftWire status update February 2018

This is a quick video that shows the progress on the app.  I think it’s looking good. Always room for improvement, but a great start! Let me know what you think, or if you have questions.  Super close to being ready to release the source code on GitHub.  Martin & I are working on ironing out the kinks in the code, as well as packaging up the download in a nice tidy installer.



Logic for automating orders in Epic 2017

With each major Epic release comes certain tweaks to my time saving tools.  Here is a template for ordering labs rapidly on the Order Entry screen that works well for me.  When tools don’t work, it’s usually wait time that needs to be played with.  I hate when my tools break, but once I have them up and running again I can’t imagine living without them.

Winactivate, Hyperspace 

Send, ^o ;start new order
Sleep, 200

;Order labs in reverse order of how you want them to display:  CBC, CMP, TSH-R, Lipid -> Lipid, TSH-R, CMP, CBC

Send, lab2478{enter} ;lipid
Sleep, 1200
Send, {Enter}
sleep, 700

Send, lab13042{enter} ;tsh-r
Sleep, 700
Send, {Enter}
Sleep, 700

Send, lab17{enter} ;cmp
Sleep, 700
Send, {Enter}
Sleep, 700

Send, lab293{enter} ;cbc
Sleep, 700
Send, {Enter}
Sleep, 700

Command Builder UX update

With the refresh of Fluent as a company, it was also time to reimagine our software.  Take a fresh look at everything.  Feedback from users was consistently telling us that Command Builder was too intimidating.  It was a powerful interface, but I a have to admit, it was starting to look a little cluttered.  And, we hadn’t put much thought into the core structure or labels since the very first version in 2014.

Command Builder from SwiftWire version

Here is a preview of the redesign of Command Builder.  Every change is centered around making it easier to use, easier to understand, and more visually appealing.  I believe we have made some significant positive changes, while still keeping the important features at your fingertips.  In addition to a redesign, the way it appears on the screen is new as well.  Command Builder now attaches directly below the SwiftWire toolbar.  It has a much more integrated feeling.  In the past sometimes customers would get confused about how Command Builder was related to SwiftWire.  We hope this change will fix that problem.  Feedback from early users suggests that we are headed in the right direction.

Command Builder from SwiftWire Beta:

Why Automation?

Take the Low Hanging Fruit

We live in a complex world. I think sometimes that drives us to look for complex solutions to our problems. Here’s a simple solution, and a very practical example as it relates to using an EHR.

If you use Epic, you know how much time it takes to clear out your InBasket. I want to share one simple hack to give you forward momentum when your InBasket is looking dreadful.

Use an automation tool to co-sign.

Items in the co-sign folder are all things you plan to sign anyway, so why do this manually? I use our app, SwiftWire, to make it easy. Intimidated by the idea of writing code?  Don’t be.  We hold your hand and make it super simple.

This is what the tool looks like:

/* Sample Script to "Co-Sign All" in Epic InBasket */

; Click the mouse at x=205 y=222
click 205, 222

; Wait 0.2 seconds (200 milliseconds)
sleep, 200

; Press the Control+a keys together
send, ^a

; Press the Alt+n keys together
send, !n

; Press the Enter key
send, {enter}

Next time you have 20 items in your Co-Sign folder use a tool like this, and I’ll bet it will make you smile just a little.

The concept I want to drive home is that focusing on solving easy problems first is a great way to approach EHR efficiency. We often get bogged down in the complex problems that will take way more effort to improve. Look for repetitive simple tasks and ask yourself, “is there a way to make this faster or easier?”. Many times there is.

In what ways can #HealthIT work w/physicians to improve the #EHR experience? What would you change? #HITsm

This is a great question, and I’m glad that people are asking! One of the biggest frustrations physicians have is that we feel like we were left out of a lot of the important decision making conversations in regard to EHR adoption. Now we have systems that were mostly chosen for us and we’re trying to make the best of it.

So, my first answer is to keep asking front-line physicians questions. I believe there needs to be a continuous feedback loop as to what our needs are, what is working, and what is not. Another great question to ask regularly would be, “how can we design Health IT to augment your clinical experience?”. Then, make sure it really does work for us before rolling it out on any kind of scale. Remember that we are all unique, and one-size-fits-all solutions fit nobody very well.

My co-founder and I started a company that automates repetitive tasks in the EHR because we got tired of pushing the same buttons over and over again. But, what if the system was designed from the ground up with the way a physician thinks in mind? What if you put that together with the metrics that are important to quality care? What if a primary goal of your EHR was to make you life simpler? Future EHR’s are going to be much better embraced when they are built with ideas like this at their core.

I think it’s time for EHR vendors to get into the trenches. I would like to see more R&D labs with clinicians and tech teams working side-by-side as they see patients in the real world setting. That’s how you find out what actually works best where the rubber meets the road. It’s also how you find out where the wheels come off. I would love to see an automation platform like SwiftWire integrated into EHR’s so more of us can get our work done with less effort. That would be real innovation!

To summarize, these are my three big ideas:

  1. Keep asking us questions, develop feedback loops, and iterate changes
  2. Cooperative R&D labs between Health IT and physicians (leverage everyone’s best experience and intelligence)
  3. Integration of solutions that make our work faster and easier
  4. Thanks for asking my opinion. Hit me up anytime with more questions or comments.