This is awkward but I think we need to stop saying thank you. At least in the EHR.
Take the health professional who responds to 25 staff messages per day. With all dutifully addressed in the early afternoon, by the end of the day they’ll often find their inbox full again. And each one with nothing more than a ‘thank you.’ A kind of warm and fuzzy last word in an exchange.
We’re facing an EHR thank you crisis.
While it seems like a trivial thing, this vacuous pleasantry scales over various tools and platforms. And with the ease of electronic exchange, few consider the impact of their messages on a recipient. It’s like the trick of copying everyone on an email in order to polish the apple or toot the horn. Easy for the sender, not so much for the list of recipients. The EHR thank you is Exhibit A in a crisis of creeping institutional noise.
I’ve suggested that we put an end to the EHR thank you. But I’ve had push back with happy nonsense like, ‘But what about civility?’ Or my favorite response delivered with an air of indignation, ‘I’m from the South and that’s just what we do.’ Of course bowel irrigation wasn’t part of Sunday brunch conversation the last time I visited Savannah.
Let’s just assume that we’re all grateful for each other’s messages and drop the thank you.
It’s an information transaction, not a cocktail party.
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