And we’re live! Today marks a major milestone for our health care organization: We officially launched Epic, our new electronic health record system, at 4:29 am this morning and the world as we know it at UMass Memorial Health Care will never be the same – in a very good way.
At go-live I was in the Emergency Department on the University Campus of the Medical Center along with dozens of other bleary-eyed but determined caregivers, and I had the privilege of documenting the first patient of the day in our new system.
While we are still working through some printing concerns and data migration issues, overall, 90 percent of the caregivers I have talked with across our system today are very happy. Our process for identifying, reporting and addressing issues is working.
After more than two years of waiting and work, it’s hard to describe how impressed I am with the tremendous amount of time, effort and talent invested by our people and the Epic team to ensure a successful go-live. I can’t thank you enough for your resolve and focus in preparing for this historic day.
When we made the decision to move to Epic, there were some sleepless nights. Could we justify the $700 million investment? Would we be able to successfully complete the massive task in a very aggressive timeframe? Today, the moment of truth has arrived. We knew that it would take the strength and dedication of everyone to ensure we were ready for today, and you did not disappoint. We asked you to “make everyday Epic” – and you did, logging countless hours of training, preparation and troubleshooting to help ensure our success.
Of course, there will be challenges in the hours, days and weeks ahead. A rollout of this size and scale is never without hiccups, some smaller, some larger. We implemented about 50 different Epic modules, covering everything from the pharmacy department to physician orders, and integrated more than 100 other software systems. Starting today, nearly 1,000 Epic experts along with our Epic Super Users and project team members are on site and ready to help with the rollout to employees across our entire system. This transition will be challenging and at times the learning curve will be steep. Be sure to ask for help when you need it – I certainly have, and I encourage you to do the same. There will be frustrations as we all learn to use the new system outside of a training environment and in real patient care settings. But one day soon it will click, and Epic will begin to feel like second nature.
What’s next now that we’re live? I’m asking each of you to focus on the enormous benefits ahead: One shared record for patients across our entire system; better integration and collaboration; improved communication, scheduling, billing and access to information. And most importantly, the power to engage every one of our caregivers in improving the quality of care we deliver and creating the best possible experience for our patients, their families and our caregivers.
Above all, we need to focus on delivering exceptional care to our patients during this time of change and transformation. Our patients are looking to us for answers about how this transition will impact their care. Please assure them that Epic is designed to simplify, streamline and improve their UMass Memorial experience – one patient, one record, one system.
Today is the start of a new day and a new chapter in our history. Thank you, again, for your incredible work. I couldn’t be more proud of our UMass Memorial Health Care family than I am today.