Epic, our new electronic health record, will begin to seamlessly link four network affiliate hospitals
When we formed the University of Vermont Health Network in 2014, we brought together a collaborative approach to quality health care in our region and forged strong network connections between our affiliates in Vermont and northern New York. The November 9 launch of our Epic electronic health record (EHR) is a significant representation of our Network’s collaboration thus far and will positively impact our patients and communities.
Unified communication between our providers
“At the UVM Health Network, we sincerely believe in our patients receiving the right care, at the right place, at the right time,” says Brad Krompf, VP for regional practice operations at the UVM Health Network Medical Group. “To achieve that, you need a tool for our providers and our clinical staff to be able to better communicate with each other. For hospitals with Epic in our network, we can have 100 percent assurance that the medical record will follow the patient.” For patients seeking care at different providers throughout the UVM Health Network, we can better guarantee their continuity of care through Epic.
Before launching Epic in November, a patient’s medical record resided at each of our separate affiliate hospitals, as each hospital was on its own EHR system. Simply seeing a provider at two different locations meant faxes, follow-up calls, and uncertainty about whether clinics received needed information.
“At this project’s conclusion, it doesn’t matter if you’re receiving care in Plattsburgh, Elizabethtown, or in Berlin at Central Vermont Medical Center. Wherever you are, we are able to track your care in these same continuous records across facilities,” says Rebecca Freeman, interim chief nursing information officer. “Right now, all of those facilities are on different systems, and transferring patients – sometimes even just across the parking lot — often requires a lot of printing or faxing. Epic is going to give us a chance to seamlessly care for our patients with all of their information in the same record.”
Complete information at our fingertips
Tania Hong, UVM Medical Center’s director of pathology and laboratory medicine, is looking forward to the improved care experience when the network of providers is fully connected and integrated.
“With Epic, we will have a patient’s complete health record, across the network, at our fingertips – enabling us to have a meaningful conversation about their care while demonstrating to our patients that as a network, we are one.”
Epic will have a significant impact on the continuity of care for our patients within the UVM Health Network – increasing collaboration between caregivers and eliminating duplicate tests and other inconveniences for the people we serve. The unified connection across the network will allow us to deliver higher quality and better coordinated patient care.
Lori Boisjoli, UVM Health Network VP of application portfolio, shares a personal experience she felt while supporting her mother at a hospital out-of-state. “I was trying to stitch the pieces together around her various doctors and appointments. I know of tests that they repeated on her that were not necessary, and times they prepped her for things that they didn’t need to, because they didn’t have that full story. To know that this integration will allow my family to have a very different experience here is very comforting to me.”