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Scheduling Innovation Earns Kudos from Epic

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Scheduling Innovation Earns Kudos from Epic

Scheduling Innovation Earns Kudos from Epic

Date: 06/01/2016

Say you want to eat Thai tonight before you catch a movie. The movie you want to see is playing in two theaters at different times, so you need a reservation at a restaurant near one of them at a time that fits in with the local showtime.

You go to the OpenTable website or app to see what your options are. Spotting an available table for two at 7:30 p.m. at a restaurant near the first movie theater, you click on the time slot you want and secure your reservation. Goal achieved! You got the kind of restaurant you wanted (Thai) at a time and place that fits your schedule.

Patients needing routine screening mammograms — rather than the more in-depth diagnostic type — now enjoy a similar experience thanks to direct scheduling via MyChart. A few keystrokes and clicks after logging on, and the patient is presented with available time slots at multiple locations for the type of mammogram that she needs (screening) at a time and place that best accommodates her schedule.

This flexibility and ease came about through the dedicated work — and innovation — of Epic team members Steve Klapper and Josh Sankovitch.

Direct mammography scheduling launched two years ago, in July 2014, at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, followed by Johns Hopkins Imaging at Green Spring Station and White Marsh. It is now available for all mammography sites, including the new Johns Hopkins Medical Imaging site in Columbia. Since the launch of the pilot, more than 2,000 screening mammograms have been scheduled online, 11 percent of all directly scheduled appointments.

Sankovitch, application coordinator for Epic access, explains that Epic is great for making appointments with providers, but patients needing a screening mammogram do not need such an appointment. Instead, what they need is, in effect, a reservation with a mammography machine, which is not normally possible in Epic. 

So Sankovitch, Epic project lead Klapper and their team created a workflow enabling patients to make such reservations via MyChart. Epic, the vendor that makes the electronic medical record platform of the same name, was so impressed by the team’s innovation that it has promoted the workflow to its other health system customers as a best practice.

“It feels pretty awesome when our work is setting the bar for others,” Sankovitch says.

Peg Cooper, radiology operations administrator for The Johns Hopkins Hospital, says: “We want physicians to encourage patients to sign up for MyChart so they can use this service. lt’s a terrific way for a woman to schedule her regular screening where and when she wants it done.” 

Scheduling Innovation Earns Kudos from Epic Epic Tools Give Patients Power to Schedule
MyChart users can make and change their own appointments.