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Baptist Teams Begin the Transition to Epic Electronic Health Record System

As Baptist Memorial hospitals, clinics and physician groups prepare to transition to Baptist OneCare – the electronic health records system powered by Epic – a comprehensive review of clinical processes is taking place. That’s because a seamless and successful transition will involve more than the installation of new technology or equipment. It also will include changes in the way clinicians work with patients and one another.

“The key to a successful transition is open communication and involvement,” said Kevin Field, Epic implementation manager for Baptist. “We strive to have regular discussions and communication with operations to facilitate the upcoming change and make it successful with Baptist overall.”

Epic trained the Baptist OneCare team that has been working with clinical readiness leads for both Baptist hospitals and ambulatory groups to get ready for this transition. Carol Pahde, director of nursing and clinical services for Baptist Medical Group, holds weekly meetings with up to 155 executive directors, regional directors and practice managers every Wednesday to review workflows and discuss any changes that need to be implemented before the first wave of go-lives starts on Jan. 1, 2014. Baptist OneCare leads often participate in these meetings.

Participants in Pahde’s weekly meetings have been very engaged and make whatever changes they can now with their teams.

“A large part of clinical readiness is looking at workflows and understanding the gap between what your work is today and what your work will be tomorrow,” said Katie Morrissette, system clinical readiness and patient safety lead for Baptist. “As much of the workflow that we can transform prior to go-live, the more successful the go-live will be.”

Morrissette meets biweekly with clinical readiness owners across Baptist’s 14 hospitals. Of 450 clinical readiness owners, 275 to 300 participate in the weekly meetings.

“This is a multidisciplinary group but it also includes the business side because BOC will integrate both the clinical and business,” said Morrissette.

Some documentation will generate billing charges, which is a new aspect of the integration. Other process changes will include concurrent charting and documenting in real time as close to the point of service as possible. Similar changes will occur in doctor’s offices and outpatient clinics and will result in greater accuracy and a better coordination of care.

Perhaps the biggest change for clinics and hospitals will be moving from paper charting or multiple and varied software documentation systems to one system and a shared database, which has significant positive implications for patient care and safety.

“We’re excited,” said Pahde. “It’s going to be a new day in health care. It is all about the patient and their safety.”

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