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6 reasons our new hospital information system will be epic

The software that was chosen for our new hospital information system is called Epic, a leading provider of health information technology. With this platform, HHS will be able to make significant advancements in how we deliver health care – with better data, increased efficiency, and fewer clinical errors. It is the largest investment in IT infrastructure in HHS’s history.

The upcoming two-year implementation process, named Project Odyssey, will modernize our digital assets and enable a greater connection between hospital and patient.

We asked a few of the Project Odyssey team leaders to tell us which benefits of the Epic platform they are most looking forward to.

1. A single source of truth

“I think the most important message is that there will be a single source of truth for a patient’s journey. All visits, notes, results, medications, etc., will be available no matter where the patient is being seen – in a clinic, the emergency department, on a ward, or in diagnostic imaging, for example. The patient will not have to recite their story over and over again. Duplication and errors will be reduced.

“There will be a portal (myChart) that will allow patients and, when appropriate, families, to communicate with the hospitals. Notes and results will be available for review. Staff and physicians will be able to schedule appointments and patients can review them. Registration will also be streamlined.”

– Barry Lumb, executive lead for Project Odyssey

2. Improved communication with patients

“A digital platform like Epic will not only better integrate internal hospital information, but it will also enable patients like myself to have easier and secure access to my medical history. It might also permit secure digital communication with my healthcare providers at Hamilton Health Sciences.

“I see this as an opportunity to routinely open up clinical notes to patients, helping them better understand what has been discussed during their visits. It might also permit access to medical test results and imaging. This will improve how patients prepare for a visit and support better discussion with health care providers.

“I also imagine that my latest medications and a list of my vaccinations can be provided. I foresee online secure messaging, appointment booking and reminders, and even appointment downloads to my calendar app. In short, patients will get to use the technology in their pocket or on their desk to help manage their medical information.”

– Peter Tracz, patient advisor

3. Bye-bye paper

“We finally have the opportunity to leap-frog ourselves into the 21st century. When you speak to anyone who has gone to an electronic system, they will never go back to paper. There are many reasons, but it’s mostly due to efficiency and safety. Efficiency is a no-brainer when everything in one place. When we use an electronic system, errors are reduced because the computer is able to check for mistakes and connect the dots. Plus, the ability to not have to repeat your story as a patient is so valuable. All of the patient’s information is in one place – and the main reason for upgrading our system is to improve the quality of care for our patients.”

– Rob Lloyd, Chief Medical Information Officer

4. Confidence in the system

“From time to time, I have patients asking me why the system is so broken. Why does the left hand not know what the right hand is doing? As a patient, I would want to know that the complex system being used to help look after me was organized so that my providers know what my history is, what all the data says, and what the plans are for things coming up in my care. Everything is going to be in one place. If it exists, you’re going to find it in Epic. A modern information system will bring everyone some confidence.”

– Deepak Dath, member of the physician leadership team

5. Data mining to support research

“There are over 60 million anonymized patients as part of the data bank in Epic. Cosmos is a data mining module to support research across multiple Epic sites. Through Epic’s Cosmos module, healthcare professionals can search the anonymous patient data to find patterns. It has been extremely valuable in the COVID pandemic to allow rapid research initiatives in other organizations. Lessons learned will help facilitate research of all kinds going forward.”

– Barry Lumb, executive lead for Project Odyssey

6. Opportunities in virtual care

“From a patient perspective, virtual care is going to be a whole different ball game with Epic. Epic is constantly evolving and expanding their services. Epic’s MyChart and attention to virtual care gives us the ability to communicate and connect with the patient and allows them to manage their own care online. This includes virtual visits with your healthcare provider, and communication even in between appointments. Patients don’t have to travel, so there are less parking hassles and more convenience. MyChart is going to improve so patients can see their own data in real time. Eventually, clinic notes will be available, and self-scheduling of appointments is hopefully something to come in the future. This is just the beginning.”

– Rob Lloyd, Chief Medical Information Officer

This story was first published by Hamilton Health Sciences on December 15, 2020 Click here to read the original post on the Hub. Click here

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