Our Epic Adventure

Rich Liekweg

November 9, 2015 - I’d like to tell you a story about a patient named Mary. Mary came to one of our hospitals for surgery. She was referred by one of our BJC Medical Group physicians. While Mary was here, she had her procedure performed by a Washington University physician in one of our operating rooms, received medicine from our pharmacy, visited radiology for scans, and had blood work evaluated by the lab. Right now, the way our clinical systems work, all of Mary’s information is stored in multiple systems. This means Mary’s nurses and doctors likely had to look up her information in more than five different systems. Imagine the time it takes to look for information in five different places, and then multiply that time by the thousands of patients we serve across BJC and Washington University. And then think about how difficult and confusing it must be for Mary to access her medical record and all of her clinical results.

This is why we are investing in a new electronic medical records solution — called Epic — and hundreds of team members are spending a significant amount of time designing the new system to make sure it will work best for our clinical and operations teams. Epic is the market leader in this space and we have heard from many team members who have used Epic in past roles and are very excited Epic is in our future.

We will spend the next 18 to 24 months designing and building the system. Then we will implement it in 2017 and 2018 across all BJC hospitals, BJC Medical Group, many of our post-acute care programs and at Washington University School of Medicine. This is a major commitment and project that will directly touch thousands of our team members and hundreds of thousands of our patients. You will hear much more about Epic through ongoing communication and training.

While the story above about our patient Mary is a fictional one, the story of what goes on to access our patients’ information by our clinicians and our patients is accurate. And I look very forward to partnering with you as we work to build a new user-friendly electronic medical records solution to help us provide extraordinary care for our patients in the most efficient way.

Email me at RichL@bjc.org and follow me on Twitter @bjc_RichThinks.