To medical professionals, “charting” is like flossing one’s teeth: tedious, and easy to skip. But invariably, something you’ll regret not having done.

As a clinical dietitian, my mom was careful to chart each patient’s progress–how much weight they’d (hopefully) lost or gained, what seemed to be working, where improvement was needed. My dad was home pretty reliably by 5:30 or 6, but not my mom, who’d sometimes see eight patients back-to-back, with barely time for lunch, let alone charting. But she made time for it, somehow, obligated by either professional standards, or human concern for her patients.

Despite charting’s critical importance to long-term care, any medical professional will be happy to tell you how often it’s skipped. Fee-for-service medicine emphasizes appointments and procedures, not record-keeping and follow-up. Through I’m sure she rarely worked less than full-time, my mother spent most of her career as a benefit-free part-time employee, never properly compensated (in my view) for her diligence, or attention to patient needs.

I think of my mom often as I work on dials. The maintenance professionals who use our products are “building doctors”, and we’re giving them the tools to automate “charting” — gathering data — so that they can bill more work, spend less time on unpaid record-keeping, and get home to their families. Preferably, before it gets dark.

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