The Main Thing

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Gary Tetz
Gary Tetz
I went to high school with a tiny, pale kid named Higgs Boson. I swear it's true, though, of course, it isn't. Ironically, he was voted “most likely to have a subatomic particle named after him,” and for a long while after graduation, no one could find him. Good old Higgs. Looks like he got the last laugh

I know the recent scientific discovery of his namesake, the Higgs boson, is important, and I know I should care.   It's one of the fundamental building blocks of the universe, after all, and the only one not controlled by the Lego people. But I'm already overwhelmed by things I don't understand — such as the way long-term care clinical consultants talk, the Affordable Care Act and the ridiculous abbreviations teens use when they text (or RATUWTT). So I really don't need something else to baffle me.

In fact, I've been so overwhelmed for so long by the crushing weight of my ignorance that until ten seconds ago, I wasn't aware that “whelm” was even a word. It is, and it means to submerge, engulf or to overcome utterly. Apparently, my life quest to avoid becoming overwhelmed has been woefully misguided since it sounds like even being whelmed could kill me.

So how do we handle the growing numbers of things we're already supposed to know, i.e. electronic health records, MDS 3.0, etc., and the even larger number of things we don't know yet that we don't yet know,  i.e. intergalactic electronic health records and MDS 4.0 through 21.0? I just read a quote that I think gets to the very heart of the battle against information overload: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

As many of you know, the author of that profound and simple bit of advice was Stephen Covey, who died this week. And though I'm not one of the millions who have already read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,”  I'm now going to make it a priority.

Sorry, Higgs boson and that nine-volume annotated history of Medicare. You'll just have to wait.

Things I Think is written by Gary Tetz, who cobbles these pieces together from his secret lair somewhere near the scenic, wine-soaked hamlet of Walla Walla, WA. Since his debut with SNALF.com at the end of a previous century, he has continued to amuse, inform and sometimes befuddle long-term care readers worldwide.

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Things I Think

Things I Think is written by longtime industry columnist Gary Tetz, who resides in Portland, OR. Since his debut with SNALF.com at the end of a previous century, he has continued to amuse, inform and sometimes befuddle long-term care readers worldwide.

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