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At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on June 2, the company revealed tantalizing bits about a partnership with Epic Systems, the dominant vendor of electronic health records. The announcement which highlighted Apple’s new HealthKit platform for health apps and tracking devices took many by surprise.
This August, the Department of Emergency Medicine and Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital will convert to Epic, our new electronic medical record system. Emergency Department clinicians are leading a two-year effort to ensure a smooth rollout, including creating interfaces with the hospital’s other electronic medical record systems and making changes to improve processes across the Hopkins enterprise.
After Epic went live at Howard County General Hospital on June 1, 2013, a procedure for ordering tests proved cumbersome for Emergency Department physicians. Seeking improvements, a “physician builder,” a category of an Epic expert with a unique role in deeply understanding the system, created a solution now being rolled out across Johns Hopkins Medicine emergency departments.
All Johns Hopkins employees who use Epic must first learn about the system through a combination of online and in-person instruction. This training program, which is tailored to specific roles and updated based on the comments of past participants, is essential to the success of the Epic rollout.
As Epic continues its rollout across Johns Hopkins Medicine, users praise its ability to collect, merge and organize patient information across the health system, creating a more complete and up-to-date medical record that includes doctors’ notes, lab reports, referrals, prescriptions and images.
During the rollout of such an enormous and complex system, obstacles and inefficiencies were expected. In the four weeks immediately following each Epic “go-live,” a 24-hour help desk took on the most pressing concerns. The challenge now is making sure the highest priority items are handled first and the workload is sensibly distributed.
These days, you’ll find dozens of Department of Emergency Medicine and the Pediatric Emergency Department staff in high gear designing and building their departments’ customized versions of the new Epic electronic health record system — with an eye on going live with it August 1, 2014.
The Epic electronic medical record system can help improve patient-centered care and earn financial incentives from the federal government. Johns Hopkins Medicine has a deadline that it can’t afford to miss. By 2015, the enterprise must be able to collect digital data that measure the quality of patient care in order to qualify for more than $100 million in federal health information technology incentives.
Dome: Know Thy Digital Self - September 2013
Now that MyChart—Epic’s secure patient website—has launched across Johns Hopkins Medicine in outpatient settings (with the exception of Suburban Hospital) and also in inpatient settings at Howard County General Hospital and Sibley Memorial Hospital, employees who receive care from Johns Hopkins providers have a new tool for accessing their personal medical record.
Dome: An Epic Debut – July 2013
Since April 4, when Epic rolled out across more than 600 ambulatory care settings, Johns Hopkins Medicine has nearly completed the first phase of an enterprise-wide migration to a common electronic medical record system.
More than 12,000 Johns Hopkins Health System patients have already logged on to MyChart, the secure, interactive website that connects them to their health care team and provides up-to-date information from their health record in Epic, our new electronic medical record system rolling out across Johns Hopkins Medicine.