- About Irwin Lim
- Info Sheets
- Our Clinic Site
- Contact UsWould you like to contact Irwin directly about corporate speaking or other matters? Please use the contact form below.
By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist
3 weeks overseas with my family. 3 junior school children. Almost every minute of every day together.
Time to return to work!
It’s the longest break I’ve had since commencing private practice a decade ago. Holidays are crucial to refresh and to refill the rheumatologist’s compassion quota so I definitely plan to take more this year!
However, I’m usually very wary of what I’ll return to. I think my colleagues are the same. The work builds up, problems fester, people get sicker during this time away.
The 1st day back in clinic can be very painful!
I thought you might be interested in strategies I use to cope with this:
- Work closely with other rheumatologists. My mates can help field calls and see my patients urgently while I’m away.
- Have reception staff with good common sense. Reception staff need to triage messages from patients and help redirect the urgent ones rather than having patients wait till I return.
- I accept and answer emails from staff and patients on holiday. My wife does not like this. But I find that I can relatively quickly and easily sort out little problems, and redirect more urgent ones.
- I used to check patient results while away by remotely logging into our servers. Yes, I’m type A. I’ve learned to stop this habit and have relied on staff flagging urgent results which in turn have been flagged by pathology providers, etc.
- The afternoon/night before returning to the 1st clinic is however spent, sitting with my laptop at home, going through all these results. 3 weeks away meant a few hundred pathology test results to review. Rheumatologists tend to have lots of these given the medications we use and the requirement for regular monitoring blood tests.
- I arrive at least an hour before clinic begins. The usual mound of mail needs reading, sorting and attending to.
- The 1st day tends to be longer with any break spent returning phone messages and attending to lists of various tasks.
The above steps help me nip problems in the bud and help make the 1st day back after holidays more pleasant.
I’d be interested to know what my rheumatology colleagues do but I assume they have developed similar coping mechanisms.Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here. Arthritis requires an integrated approach. We call this, Connected Care. Contact us.
This blog focuses on arthritis, healthcare in general, and Connected Care. Please subscribe to keep in touch:
By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist
The family’s spending New Year in Tokyo. One night, cold and hungry in Shibuya, we stumbled into this Sushi Train joint.
It was very cool. A departure from the usual procession of sushi plates going round and round the track.
We all took great delight in ordering the nigiri and norimaki we wanted on the touchpads provided. The order was sent electronically and soon after, a “carriage” rolls out and stops just in front of you. You lift your food off the carriage and then hit a button to send the carriage back into the kitchen.
A reinterpretation. Unexpected and delightful. We all enjoyed the delivery as much as the actual food.
That serves as an introduction for the main reason for this post. Our Vision Statement.
It’s 2014. I started my life as a consultant rheumatologist in 2004. If you’re a regular to this blog, you already know that I work as part of a team. A team of rheumatologists, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, dietitians and more. Our path has meandered a little but we’ve always believed that this sort of group practice enhanced care for our patients with rheumatological problems.
We’ve been working on refining our vision over many years and actually committing it to words has proven very difficult. Our leadership team has toyed with a variety of versions and we’ve finally agreed. The wording may change in the future but I think the central theme will endure:
BJC Health has a vision that people suffering with arthritis deserve the best possible care.
This will be achieved through a multidisciplinary approach. We call this Connected Care.
One step to achieving this vision is creating a purpose built Arthritis Centre in Parramatta by 2016. This will set a new standard in arthritis care in Australia.
It’s a big step to commit this vision statement to print. An important reminder of what drives our leadership team, and a reminder of the shared purpose for all our staff.
What does a vision statement have to do with a sushi train?
Not much really.
Except to say that while getting from point A to point B is clearly important, we should also spend effort in making sure that how we do this, the journey, is as pleasant, as effective and as convenient as we can make it.
Patient care in rheumatology can be reinterpreted. Creating something unexpected and hopefully, delightful. A lovely vision for me to start my year.
I wish you all a Happy New Year!