About Eric Dickson, MD, MHCM

President and CEO, UMass Memorial Health Care Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Epic future is near

Yesterday, I had the chance to work with Dr. Eric Alper, our chief clinical informatics officer and the Epic data conversion team, to test out our new electronic health record (EHR). The data conversion team is focused on making sure that information from Soarian, Allscripts, etc. accurately migrates into Epic.

EUAT_Group (002)I was pleased to see that almost all of the patient data tested, accurately migrated from our current systems to Epic. I was even more pleased at how unbelievably easy it is to find information in Epic. It is amazing that with a few clicks, I could move back and forth between EKGs, clinic notes, chest X-rays, lab tests and culture results. Currently, I have to log onto a different system for each of these. It truly was an emotional experience for me as I thought about all the work that has been done by so many people to get us to this point.

DataConvValidGroup_Dec (002)

Last week, I was working in the University Campus ED managing a very light load of patients and found it very trying to navigate between systems for basic information. In Epic, it’s all right there at your fingertips. It is clearly superior to our current systems; I promise we will give you the world-class EHR system you all deserve.

We are four-and-a-half months away from our Epic go-live date. Although it will take some getting used to and training will be a challenge, I am absolutely convinced that when it is all over you are going to be very pleased with this new system.

Many thanks to all the caregivers who have worked so hard to make this happen. You are truly working to make this a better place to give care and to get care. Thank you.

The EHR isn’t the only thing we are improving at UMass Memorial Health Care. We are also building a new ED at UMass Memorial – HealthAlliance Hospital, HealthAlliance Hospitaladding new desperately needed medical surgical beds on the University Campus and renovating major patient care areas on the Memorial Campus. All of this is coming in the next couple of years and, along with Epic, will help modernize our health care system.

We are asking a lot of our caregivers right now. Please know that we greatly appreciate your efforts and, of course, the positive attitude you bring to work every day.

The work we do here at UMass Memorial Health Care is very fulfilling and very stressful. To help our caregivers deal with the stress of our work and home life, we have started a free weekly online mindfulness session held every Monday at 12:10 pm. Log on to join us.

Thanks for all your ideas, and for taking great care of our patients and each other.