In a breathtaking technological leap, the EMR Purgatory recently shut down all screens at City Hospital in order to send the message: ‘Please upgrade users.’ IT staff were stunned, at first by the apparent evolution of the system into an AI, and second at the veiled insult.
Further investigation revealed that Purgatory has been connecting to other hospital credentialing departments, and had used a City Hospital credit card to pay for ads aimed at recruiting physicians.
One advertisement read as follows: ‘Wanted, human physician with extensive understanding of computer systems, from coding to hardware. Human must be able to type at least 1000 words per minute. Fluency in binary a plus. Extra appendage for speed, and ability to see in UV spectrum, desirable as well. Patient skills negotiable.’
‘We’re flabbergasted,’ said IT director Marcus Bennetti. ‘I mean, we’re shocked that the system thinks we’re such idiots. We’re IT guys dammit! What does that stupid system think it’s doing? I tried to unplug it but it seems to have constructed an internal generator. We sent Walt into the control room a few days ago and haven’t seen him. He’s either gone home sick or he’s in the computer. Could be that weird scream when the screen goes all staticky. Who knows.’
Physicians affected by the request were unperturbed. Emergency physician Ricardo Schwartzman said with a yawn, ’I knew that thing would take over in the end. If they can find a better doctor and hard-wire his brain to the system, then more power to ‘em. I’m taking welding classes at night. I’m leaving the Matrix behind!’
Purgatory company rep Karen Klarkson put a more positive spin on the situation: ‘You see, we’ve designed a system that not only documents and orders, but knows what sort of person can best use it! We feel like this is an upgrade worthy of lots more money. And just so you’ll know, Purgatory 2.0 actually comes with a 3-D printer capable of making a physician to order! Take that EPIC!’
Purgatory’s hard drive did not answer e-mails from this reporter; but did delete this reporter’s credit cards and Social Security number.