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In May, 2013, after nearly two years of planning and staged activations, Barton Health has implemented Epic’s electronic health record at the hospital and a majority of our health care service areas. This new system, the same one utilized by Stanford Medical, U.C. Davis and Renown, will help improve the care experience for patients, physicians and staff.

In the past, Barton has utilized several different systems from various vendors to assist us in providing health care to our region. The new integrated health record system will enable the delivery of care to transform to one that improves processes and unifies the delivery of coordinated care to our patients.

The Epic system links all hospital departments and specialties, creating a single electronic record of a patient’s entire medical history. Barton Hospitals’ hospital-wide implementation of this system is transforming our delivery of patient care, greatly enhancing patient safety, treatment and service.

With Epic, doctors can access any patient’s entire medical chart from their computers or handheld devices such as iPads. Such instant access shortens the length of time it takes to perform care. What’s more, instead of just reading about test results, doctors can actually see them firsthand; Epic illuminates, presenting a firsthand view of CT scans, movies of heart catheterization, X-rays and more.

What is Epic

Epic is a state-of-the-art clinical information system. What is Epic Built on the widely-used Epic software application, the system encompasses all aspects of a patient’s care - clinical and business-related and connects those involved in the patient’s care with a click of a computer mouse.

The goal for implementing Epic was to transform the care experience for patients, physicians and staff.

Epic System Includes

  • A computerized physician order entry (CPOE) system allowing providers to manage and communicate orders and results

  • A clinical documentation tool that enhances workflow for all caregivers and makes information accessible to those who need it

  • An electronic medication administration record (eMAR) and closed-loop medication administration system that ensures patient safety and reduces errors

  • An integrated set of tools that allows data to move with patients across all areas such as clinics, the emergency department, and inpatient units

  • An electronic system for patient registration, appointment scheduling, billing and other business related functions

  • An online communication tool which connects our referring providers with us

  • A patient portal which empowers our patients to become directly involved in the management of their own health information and the services they receive from us.

Improved Patient Care

Because Epic gives Barton Health providers immediate access to real-time patient information, our efficiency and ability to provide the best care are dramatically increased.

Epic Means Improved Patient Care

In the past, coordinating patient care involved locating records, charts or notes from different hospital departments and physicians. Now, all of Barton Health clinicians can access the exact information they need, when they need it.

It’s easy to see, for example, how much more effectively this will enable physicians to manage patients with chronic diseases.

Overall, a consolidated patient medical record that includes information about the patient across clinical areas allows decisions to be made more quickly, and handoffs from one to the next or one unit to another to be smoother, reducing the likelihood of errors.

Having vital patient information instantly at the fingertips of hospital admissions personnel, physicians and nurses facilitates faster submission and turnaround of medication orders, enables lab staff to process specimens more quickly, and means that emergency department waits can be significantly reduced. At the patient’s bedside, nurses and doctors can spend less time documenting care and more time giving care.

Epic will also help both the physician and the hospital facilitate patient wellness and prevention efforts. Physicians will have access to evidence-based medical information, patients will be able to access educational materials online, and doctors will be able to direct patients to appropriate screening and diagnostic procedures. For example, Epic will allow a physician to identify patients over age 50 that have never had a colonoscopy so that these patients can be encouraged to schedule this recommended procedure.

One of Epic’s greatest advantages is that it helps to enable all patients to become more active participants in their own care.

Better Patient Safety

In addition to streamlining patient care, Epic enhances patient safety at Barton Health.

With Epic, treatment orders, medication orders and documentation are entered directly into the Epic system, greatly reducing the chance of miscommunication and misinterpretation. Prescriptions are sent to pharmacies electronically. As a result, a patient’s safe care need not be jeopardized by the legibility of a medical professional’s handwriting.

Epic Means Enhanced Patient Safety

No matter where patients go within the Barton Hospitals system, their entire history, including allergies, medications …everything… can be immediately accessed. Epic delivers automatic alerts to warn of drug allergies and potential interactions or complications when a medication is initially prescribed. Often, patients are prescribed different medications by different doctors, which can cause problems. Epic performs “behind the scenes” work that will detect potential interaction issues or possible complications.

Before administering medications, nurses scan the medication and also scan a bar-coded wristband that is worn by the patient.

When a nurse scans a patient’s bracelet, he/she instantly knows the right medication and the right dosage and confirms that the patient matches the EMR (Electronic Medical Record). As a result, EPIC allows nurses to concentrate on patients wants instead of just their needs

An additional patient safety benefit lies in longevity of the patient’s medical record. With the old paper system, medical records need only be kept for 10 years while electronic records remain with a patient for life. If, for example, a patient has had a reaction to a medication more than 10 years ago, that information may easily get lost in paper records. With Epic, a doctor can readily see that and decline to prescribe a medication that is in the same family.

From an institutional standpoint, Epic allows us to track incidents that raise safety issues. Every instance is charted and sent to our Quality Department for evaluation, a great help in our goal of continuous quality improvement.

Better Patient Service

Part of being a regional leader means delivering the best patient service, and Epic helps Barton Health to do just that. Electronic medical records streamline patient registration, scheduling, billing and other patient issues. Time spent filing, retrieving and maintaining paper medical records is greatly reduced…and less time spent attending to paperwork means there is more time to attend to patients.

Epic Means Better Patient Service From the Doctor’s Office to the Hospital

Having a permanent electronic record also means that patients at Barton Health no longer have to repeat their medical history and medications to each caregiver they see. Beyond the convenience this provides, it can be a great help for some patients who might have trouble remembering the names of their medications and exact doses.

Barton Health will soon offer the Epic EMR system to its physicians for use in their offices. This means, when a patient’s doctor is a member of Barton Health's medical staff, all of that patient’s office visit information will be a part of that record as well. Their family doctor and any specialists they see who are on staff at Barton Health will have instant access to all of their hospital visit records, including lab test results, results of other diagnostic tests such as MRI, CT scans and mammograms without the patient having to carry them from one place to another or paying to have them shipped.

It also means that Barton Health will have instant access to the records from these patients’ physician visits, eliminating the need to remember to make a list of all the medications a doctor has prescribed when going to the hospital – the hospital will already have that information.

Furthermore, patients are able to access their own medical information through a secure, online connection. In the coming months, hospital lab results and discharge instructions will be available via MyChart. Additional capabilities will be added over time – patients will be able to do things like access doctors’ records of office visits online, check their family’s immunization records (especially convenient at back-to-school time), print out growth charts and even communicate with their doctors online.

What is MyChart

MyChart is a free, easy and secure way to view your health information and communicate with your healthcare team. All you need is internet access and e-mail.

MyChart

Patients can go online to view lab results rather than waiting for a phone call or letter. The rough Methodist MyChart, patients can also review health education topics and discharge information provided by their own physicians.

Privacy & Security
Barton Health is committed to providing quality health care and respecting the privacy and confidentiality of your medical information. Our policies and procedures regarding access to and release of medical records conform to state and federal laws and are designed to safeguard your privacy. As a Barton Health MyChart user, you can be assured that communications between you and Barton are carried over a secure, encrypted connection directly into the epic EMR system.

Additional Capabilities
Barton Health is planning to increase Barton's MyChart functionality over time. In the near future, patients will be able to access doctors’ records of office visits online, check family’s immunization records (especially convenient at back-to-school time), print out growth charts and even communicate with their doctors online.

Epic FAQs

What is an Electronic Health Record (EHR)?
An EHR is an electronic version of a patient’s medical history that is maintained by the provider over time, and may include all of the key clinical data relevant to that person’s care, including demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data and radiology reports. Epic FAQs The EHR automates access to information and has the potential to streamline the clinician’s workflow. The EHR also has the ability to support other care-related activities directly or indirectly through various interfaces, including evidence-based decision support, quality management, and outcomes reporting. An EHR allows the ability to easily and securely share medical information between healthcare facilities for better patient care.

Why did Barton choose Epic?
Epic is the #1 company providing Electronic Health Record software in the country. They have won numerous awards, including being named the #1 Overall Software Vendor in 2011 by KLAS, an independent research company. Barton joins the ranks of healthcare giants like Renown Health, Stanford University Medical Center, Sutter Health, UC Davis Medical Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic by implementing the Epic system.

What are the benefits of Epic?
Patients will spend less time filling out paperwork and more time with their provider. This creates a more meaningful experience for the patient and allows better communication between the healthcare team, the patient and their family.

All health history and information is accessible to all facilities throughout Barton Health, eliminating the need to repeat health history to new medical caregivers. This includes lab work, medications, x-rays, allergies and all other health related information. It follows the patient throughout their healthcare experience with Barton.

Your healthcare team will have secure access to centrally located information, providing improved patient care and quality by reducing the risk of errors and duplication of services. This provides a better continuity of care for the patient.

Prescriptions are ordered electronically and are typically ready faster than traditional faxing methods. When new medication is prescribed, the EHR will automatically check and alert the physician to potential conflicts with previous treatments or allergies.

Epic allows for faster diagnostics and decisions by the health care provider because there is no paperwork to wait for and tests are received quicker and more efficiently.

Barton will save money by reducing paperwork, improving patient safety, reducing duplication of testing and delivering more effective healthcare.

The Epic system provides an organized, consistent record that is 100% readable because it’s 100% electronic.

With the conversion of all Barton-managed practices and facilities to the Epic system, our patients will receive only one billing statement. This will make understanding and paying your bill much easier.

Some health information, like follow-up instructions and appointments will be viewable online through a product called MyChart. This service will not be available until late 2013

Download the FAQ document here