Tuesday, September 19, 2017
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One Patient + One Chart = Better Care

Selecting Epic Systems as the provider of Baptist’s electronic health records system was an easy choice. Months of research and dozens of demonstrations, comparisons, presentations and surveys nudged Epic high above the competition. So what made Epic stand out from the rest?

“Things like you would expect—ease of use, efficiency, ease of obtaining information—and … compliance with all of the regulatory requirements,” said Derick Ziegler, CEO and administrator of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis. “And you know, the percent that responded very satisfied or extremely satisfied … was well over 90 percent. So hands down, not only did myself and the other Baptist staff members feel that Epic was clearly head and shoulders above the right product for us, but, more importantly, I think our medical staff was really the ones who stepped forward and said, ‘you know Epic is clearly the right choice for Baptist.’ And that’s pretty significant.”

While ease of use and staff support were key to Baptist selecting Epic to provide its electronic health record system, the most compelling reason was the benefit to patients.

“Epic was built and designed with the patient at heart,” said Kevin Field, Epic implementation manager for Baptist. “We believe that building an integrated system with the focus being on patient care is the right model.”

One key to Epic’s success is that every part of the system was designed and built by Epic.

“The Epic system is quite a bit different,” said Tim Donaldson, director of the Epic clinical team. “It’s different in the fact that this system has one patient record—a single database with [a] unique reference for each patient across any department, which is different from other systems. [It’s] one truly longitudinal record that spans across all applications and facilities. The Epic system was built for a large system. This is a system that can handle a load like Baptist has.”

So how does this translate into better care for the patient? It means all health care providers will have access to the same information at the same time so they can make a more informed decision about the patient’s care.

“It really will make things so much better for everybody that’s involved with the electronic health record,” said Ziegler. “I think one of the most outstanding features about it is the fact that all the different components of the system really work together, and they create this great continuous flow of information. And what’s exciting is it’s not just a record for the hospital, but it’s also applicable to physicians in their clinic practices [and] at ambulatory service centers. So it will really help from a continuity of care perspective … whoever they [patients] see, wherever they go to seek health care. That particular provider will have access to their medical information, and I think that will only improve the quality of care provided to them.”

So if a patient moves to another state or is on vacation, perhaps in another country, if that health care provider uses Epic, he or she will have access to that patient’s medical record. That’s a significant benefit and highly likely, as it’s been reported that 51 percent of Americans and 2 percent of the world’s population have an Epic record.

Baptist OneCare will allow patients to access their health record from any location as well. This is an outstanding feature of the system, which will be highlighted in an upcoming issue of Leader.

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