President’s Message

Posted on Feb 1, 2021 in President's Message | 0 comments

I hadn’t seen a doctor in years.

Some of it, probably most of it, was my fault of course. I had procrastinated and tried to reassure myself with thoughts that I was exercising pretty regularly, eating pretty well. Heck, probably too well. I thought, “I’m a doctor, I’ll know when there is something wrong.”

Then there was the pandemic and transition to virtual visits. The switching of primary care doctors due to changes in health insurance and contracted providers. My wife kept on pestering me, “When are you going to make a doctor’s appointment?” I relented, got onto MyHealthOnline (MHO), and made an appointment with my assigned PCP.

I was anxious the night before my appointment. What would be uncovered after several years of shameless neglect? I went into the clinic, breezed through the obligatory COVID screening, and was routed into the exam room. The medical assistant greeted me and promptly said, “We need to get your weight and height”. A sense of dread came over me as my pants had gotten quite a bit tighter around the waistline in the past year, and I reluctantly faced the music.

I was the heaviest I had ever been. Call it the COVID 20. My height had shrunk by half an inch. My blood pressure was high. The rest of the exam proceeded uneventfully, but then came the expected recommendations from my doctor regarding lifestyle modification. Easier said than done. Throughout the day, scattered blood test results filtered back through alerts on MHO. My vitamin D was low. My cholesterol was higher than I wanted it to be. My hemoglobin A1C was borderline. My uric acid was high.

Clearly, things had to change. Internally, I signed a commitment to change contract, and set about the next few days to right the ship. I refrained from eating too much food at night (difficult with ER shift schedule). I moderated my carb consumption. I went out for several runs in the next few days, but every time I got on the scale, I was mortified by the task before me.

I had a clinical day off midweek, and though it was raining and gloomy, I overcame inertia and got out on my bike. You have to take the opportunities when they come. I was thoroughly soaked and quite cold, but invigorated by being outdoors. Then the clouds parted, if only just briefly.

Call it coincidence, divine providence, or the physical diffraction of light. It was beautiful.

2021 hopes to be better than 2020, but only if we make it so. Self care is vital.  Make time to take care of yourself, and if you haven’t seen your doctor recently, make an appointment!

Verbal order signage

On the business side of things, our verbal order signage compliance has lagged considerably after gains in 2019.

Please remember to sign your Verbal/Telephone Orders. Our Medical Staff Rules and Regulations state that Verbal and Telephone Orders must be signed within 48 hours.

Right now, we are well below the 90% mark and at risk for citation by regulatory agencies (i.e. JCAHO). Please do your part and sign your orders ASAP.

Please see attached for order signage within Haiku!

Additional tips:

1. Hardwire signing your Verbal/Telephone Orders. Make signing deficiencies the first and last thing you do daily.

2. Sign ALL Verbal/Telephone orders including Discontinued and Canceled orders.

3. Work with your group to sign orders for each other. Inform your team when going off service and ask that your orders be signed.  Patty Fitzgibbons will work with you and your group to make it easy to sign each other’s verbal orders.

4. Inform Health Information Management when going on vacation so deficiencies can be placed on hold while you are out.

In order to place a hold on any potential medical record deficiencies, you have 3 options:

1. Call the local HIM/Medical Records Department, Chart Completion Team at Summit:  510-869-6545, option 2 (Summit Campus only).

2. Call or email the S3 physician line (Summit and/or Alta Bates Campus) 855-398-1641, Option 1, or email S3Chart

3. Call or email the HIM Manager (Summit and/or Alta Bates Campus) Summit:  510-869-8741, or Email

Cosigning Verbal Orders – Setting Email Reminders

Verbal Order Email Reminder

Providers are able to receive email reminders when there are verbal orders in their In Baskets.  This requires a modification to the In Basket Settings.

1.  Click on In Basket from the main menu in EPIC.

2.  Click on Settings

3.  Click on Reminder Email

4.  Click the box to the left of “Subscribe with email address and,

     in the field to the right, type your email address

5.  Enter the Message Type “Verbal Order Cosign”

6.  Enter the Outstanding Days to the right of the Message Type

If there is a workflow issue we can assist with, please contact Patty Fitzgibbons, Physician Liaison, at 510-869-8339 (office) or 510-325-9618 (cell) or by email

Jeff Chen MD, MPH, FACEP
Chief of Staff, ABSMC Summit Campus

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