Work Advancing on Three-Year Epic Electronic Medical Record Implementation

July 13, 2015 - After a 12-month process that included surveys, demonstrations and site visits, BJC and the Washington University Faculty Practice Plan selected Epic electronic medical record software for BJC hospitals, Washington University Physicians and BJC Medical Group. The Epic contract negotiations and final agreement are complete, and work is underway on the three-year project that will transform access to patient information.

When implementation is completed, BJC will have an integrated health record system that incorporates clinical documentation from all areas of patient care into a single database, streamlining the process and eliminating the need for clinicians to access multiple computer systems to gather complete patient information. Clinicians will be able to pull up a patient’s information anywhere across BJC and Washington University. The new electronic medical record system will enhance clinical quality, improve the satisfaction of patients and clinicians, and yield more efficiencies in providing care for patients.

The implementation project will be governed under a joint BJC/WUSM organization structure named Health Information Partners (HIP), with joint decision making through a board of directors, an executive steering committee, project leadership teams and implementation project teams. BJC’s Chero Goswami and Washington University’s Troy Burrus are co-directors of the project. Clinicians and staff members from community and academic hospitals, as well as BJC’s non-hospital-based service organizations, are represented on the various teams.

“This project will touch almost all areas across our organization,” says Goswami. “Input from our stakeholders will be critical as we proceed. Their participation will enable BJC/WUSM caregivers to deliver world-class care and service to our patients and families by providing reliable, usable and integrated clinical information systems.”

As part of the implementation, several Epic operation groups will be established to guide the development of the new electronic health record system across various clinical and operational areas, such as ambulatory, ED, inpatient units, surgery, anesthesiology, radiology, clinical laboratories and home health. Representatives from Epic will facilitate these sessions and will involve key subject matter experts from each of the hospitals, BJC Medical Group and WUSM.

Electronic Medical Record Implementation Updates

  • Since the first of the year, teams have been gathering and cataloging data, processes and practices among all of the inpatient clinical documentation systems currently used in the community and academic medical center
  • About 150 team members are currently in place and are undergoing training that will lead to certification by Epic
  • Seven physician/clinical champions have been identified to serve as advocates and provide support throughout the activation and training phases of the implementation: Richard Chole, MD, PhD; Geoff Cisclo, MD; Marianne Fournie, BSN, RN, MBA; John Krettek, MD, PhD; Michele Thomas, MD; Keith Woeltje, MD, PhD; and Feliciano Yu, MD
  • A governance structure composed of operating and advisory councils is being established to facilitate decision making through the life of the project