Epic Progress

This week Bill Corbett, MD, and Eric Alper, MD, along with Barbara Fisher, senior vice president of Operations, sent an update to physicians about changes being made to improve the functionality of Epic in the ambulatory environment. These modifications represent the first major changes to the Epic build since go live on October 1.  As you UMass Epic_RGBmay know, our intent was to stabilize the Epic work environment during the first three months following go live, and then begin the process of optimizing it to better meet the needs of providers and patients after the stabilization period.  By making functionality changes now, we are a full month ahead of our anticipated timeline.

As we prepared for go live, we expected to identify 50,000 – 100,000 problems in the first two monthsDataConvValidGroup_Dec (002). Thankfully, we have been well under this estimate and the environment has been more stable than anticipated.  For those who are still experiencing logon issues, in basket overload or printer mapping problems, I know it’s hard to call our Epic go live a success. However, compared to other go lives around the country – very few of which have been as large as ours –  it’s hard to argue that ours has been anything but successful.

What’s next? The optimization phase of our Epic install will begin soon and once it does it will never end.  With each software upgrade we’ll find opportunities to modify the platform to better meet the needs of our patients.  As long as we are working to make it a little better every day, much like everything else we do, it will get better over time and we’ll be glad we endured the short-term pain in exchange for the benefits it will bring later. blog_3

I want to personally thank the Ambulatory Partnership Council for working overtime last week to get agreement on the modifications to make ambulatory records more user friendly.  I’m confident this will be the first of many positive modifications they and the other partnership councils will make.

I also want to thank our caregivers for your incredible patience over the past two months as well as the Epic team in IS – and everyone else who supported the launch in ways large and small – for your great work and tenacity.  I know it hasn’t been easy. Stay positive and we will be glad we did this.

Most importantly, thank you for staying focused on what matters most: taking great care of our patients and one another.

Eric