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Mission Impossible?



We had a lucky reprieve today at my practice.

No, the CQC inspector didn’t phone to say sorry they’d have to cancel their visit because they were stranded due to floods.  Neither did the senior partner hand in his resignation.  Actually, I wish he had because I’m next in line, but that’s another story.

What did happen was the local pathology department’s request and reporting software (Sunquest ICE) planned upgrade at my local hospital had been postponed.  If the upgrade had gone ahead, requesting tests, including both pathology and imaging, would have been unavailable from eight o’clock in the morning until one o’clock in the afternoon.

Now I know I’m getting on a bit and you can call me old fashioned, but as far as I’m aware that is just about the time most GPs are dealing with the bulk of the days patient demand and not being able to order tests for half a day would have a pretty significant impact on workload.

In fact, I would go as far as to say this should be regarded as a ‘mission critical system’ and the dictionary definition of this is ‘a system that is essential to the survival of a business or organisation. When a mission critical system fails or is interrupted, business operations are significantly impacted.’

So, you can imagine our relief when the email popped up saying the upgrade had been postponed – until the same time at a future date.

I contacted the hospital to politely enquire why those particular times had been chosen and not something more sensible like early morning, evening or even over a weekend.  The reply was the technicians didn’t work those hours.

A bit like GPs I guess, and we regard ourselves as Mission Critical, or is that just Mission Impossible?