Epic to get an upgrade; optimization back in focus

Todd Guenzburger, M.D.

Todd Guenzburger, M.D.
Chief medical information officer, Oregon Region

May 21, 2014

As the Epic implementation schedule winds down, our focus is shifting to optimizing the system and improving usability for caregivers. As part of this process, Providence will install an upgrade to the system in February 2015. We are currently using the 2010 version of Epic and will move to the 2014 version. The upgrade will allow us to take advantage of new features and functionality that will help us ease the way of caregivers who use the system. 

As with any software upgrade, there will be some changes to the way Epic looks and operates, but most things will stay the same. Ample support will be available to prepare for these changes. Some training will be necessary, but it will not be as involved or time-consuming as when Epic first went live in the regions. Clinical and administrative leaders will provide updates on the process and will be invited to take part in the enhancement prioritization process, which is expected to begin this summer. 

More details about the upgrade will be available this summer, when the project officially kicks off.

Next steps for clinical optimization

We recognize that because we have been on an aggressive timeline, we have not been able to do as much optimization as we wanted. This new phase aims to address immediate needs in select areas while staying coordinated with the February 2015 Epic upgrade.

For the next several months most optimization resources will be focused on usability, specifically in:

  • Ambulatory (primary and specialty care)
  • Inpatient (physician workflow and specialty content; nursing and intrerprofessional care)
  • Programs (cardiovascular and others to be determined)

Clinical leadership will be critical to this process. The clinical advancement teams played a vital role during our Epic build, and we recognize that expert-to-expert collaboration is also a key part of the optimization phase.

The Clinical Council and PMG Leadership Council will help guide and direct the work. We also will build off the existing clinical programs specialty groups and will ask the CPS Epic user groups to help support optimization. In addition, we will make available a limited amount of resources, outside of the usability work, to help continue some of the highest clinical priorities these groups have been working on.