In the past 100 years, Baptist Memorial Health Care has tackled many large construction projects. These projects have resulted in new hospitals, new bed towers or new emergency rooms. But Baptist’s latest project involves construction of a different kind.
“We’re investing heavily in one of the largest projects in the 101-year history of Baptist to improve care, and we’re doing it by getting all these tools assimilated into the electronic health record,” said Beverly Jordan, vice president and chief clinical transformation officer for Baptist Memorial Health Care.
Baptist is building an electronic health record system—called Baptist OneCare— that will connect all Baptist hospitals, clinicians and patients while optimizing patient care and the patient experience. Baptist selected Epic Systems to provide the database for Baptist OneCare.
“This system basically has one patient record so you have a singular database that has a unique record for each patient, and it maintains that record across physician practices, hospitals, clinics or any department that you go in,” said Tim Donaldson, director of the Epic technical team. “Now we have one longitudinal record that spans across applications and even facilities.”
That makes the Epic system different from so many other systems and uniquely qualified to meet the needs of a large health care system, such as Baptist.
“Epic has been winning best in KLAS awards for several years,” said Dr. Jack Brown, chief medical information officer for Baptist. (KLAS is an independent company that measures vendor performance to help hospitals make informed decisions.) “We had demonstrations of both Epic and a competitor. In the end we had well over a thousand people respond to a survey…and the overwhelming winner was Epic by far.”
Baptist involved the staff and physicians who will use the system in the vetting and selection process.
“Ninety-plus percent of the hospital staff are going to use it, touch it in some form or fashion, but the medical staff are going to be key to successful electronic health record implementation and then the sustainment piece,” said Derick Ziegler, CEO and administrator for Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis. “It was exciting to engage them early on in the evaluation process and to get their vote of approval and endorsement has been huge … this is a herculean project … when you’re talking something that big, that large you’ve got to make sure that your physicians are on board, and I think we did right, absolutely, by engaging them in the evaluation process.”
Despite the learning curve and adjustment that will accompany implementation of this new system, medical staff involved in the
selection process support the transition to Epic.
“I think physicians are going to be very, very happy with this system,” said Dr. Thomas Greenwell, OB-GYN and managing partner for Mid-South OB/GYN. “There’s going to be some learning curve as with everything … I applaud the people at Baptist in having foresight to take this bold of a step.”
Physician and clinical staff involvement with Baptist OneCare does not end with the selection of Epic. An extensive training process is commencing and will continue until the successful implementation of Baptist OneCare in 2015. In the end, the selection, development and execution of Baptist OneCare will have involved hundreds of systems, tens of thousands of people, hundreds of thousands of hours in training and millions of dollars, but the investment will be well worth the effort.
“Health care is complex,” said Jordan. “We’re trying to bring in the best tools to Baptist to get better with the care that we provide by using these tools … and then everybody wins.”
Baptist OneCare by the Numbers
- Hundreds of IT systems
- Tens of thousands of people
- Hundreds of thousands of training hours
- Millions of dollars