At 6:45 am on Saturday, March 3, 2018, after two years of planning and preparation, Main Line Health transitioned from previous electronic health records (EHR) systems to the Epic system, making possible a pivotal transformation that will enhance every area of Main Line Health.
The launch wasn’t the end of the process; it’s the beginning. As a key part of Main Line Health’s PIVOT initiative (Promoting Innovation by Valuing Organizational Transformation), Epic is enabling a new technological infrastructure that will seamlessly integrate inpatient and ambulatory care with clinical and financial systems, and fully support value-based care and population health.
Driven by a goal of providing a safe, timely, efficient, effective, equitable and patient-centered experience for everyone, everywhere, every time, teams of clinicians and specialists from key administrative areas worked over the past two years to improve clinical and financial workflows so that, no matter what office or campus a patient visits, the experience is the same, whether scheduling an appointment, undergoing a procedure, or being discharged home.
In the months preceding the Epic launch, nearly 9,000 clinical and administrative staff were trained in the new system to make the transition as smooth as possible. With a massive undertaking like this launch, some changeover challenges had to be anticipated. To resolve issues in real time and minimize impact on patients and providers, hundreds of at-the-elbow staff clad in green shirts were positioned around-the-clock throughout the system.
The launch of Epic, which followed—and met—a timetable established in 2016, did much more than simply move hundreds of thousands of patient records. It integrated multiple individual clinical and administrative computer systems so that:
- Physicians and practitioners have real-time access to a single system that holds all patient records across all our locations and specialties, enhancing clinical collaboration and improving patient care. Clinicians also gain secure communication, mobile charting, and clinical practice guidelines that will improve efficiency and increase safety and quality.
- Patients can now access their own records and securely communicate with their care team—two factors proven to lead to improved patient outcomes. Through the online My Main Line Health Chart, patients can—from any device—schedule primary care appointments, request prescription refills, pay bills, view lab and test results, coordinate family care, and much more. Complete information on My Main Line Health Chart is available at mainlinehealth.org.
- Patients also have a single, integrated record throughout Main Line Health and will receive one consolidated bill covering services received at all our entities and Main Line HealthCare physicians.
As the opportunities available through Epic are realized throughout Main Line Health, more “PIVOTal” transformations will be implemented, enhancing our commitment to patient safety, continuity of care, and real-time reporting and analytics.
The launch of Epic was a successful event. The continuing challenge is to ensure that our EHR enables our team to most effectively and efficiently provide the best care for our patients.
Don Klingen, MD, is vice president and chief medical information officer at Main Line Health.