One patient, one record…this phrase has been on the tip of my tongue now for more than 20 months. We are less than 24 hours away from implementing Epic, our new clinical and administrative information system, going from an idea to a reality. I am very excited about this implementation because each patient will have only one record in our system, and it will make it easier to treat everyone the way we want our own loved ones treated.
The road to this day started a couple of years ago, when we realized that it was not possible to coordinate care for our patients when their information was in multiple places, electronically and on paper. We met with several vendors, and after a thoughtful process we chose Epic.
In early 2015, I traveled with members of our team to Epic headquarters in Wisconsin and had the privilege of meeting Judy Faulkner, principal owner and founder of Epic. We met with many people who explained to us the capabilities of the software and the importance of building it for GBMC in a way that would allow us to get the most out of it. We got a “test drive” of the software and we were all really impressed.
Technology cannot create a vision or change a culture, but it certainly can accelerate the rate of change toward a vision. I can’t stress enough how the Epic implementation is a strategic move for the GBMC HealthCare System. “One patient, one record” is critical for us to deliver the kind of care we want for our own loved ones to everyone and Epic provides the tools that will make it much easier for our patients to communicate with us and be involved in their care.
Getting to go-live with our new electronic medical record system has required a phenomenal effort and many hours of hard work by thousands of our people. Getting us to one patient, one record for all served by our employed and GBHA aligned physicians, our hospital and our hospice, clearly has not always been easy. Yes, there is no doubt that there will be much to do and issues to be addressed even after launch, but, we have so many smart, hard-working people who are ready to help us during and after Epic implementation.
I want to take a moment to thank Cindy Ellis, Epic Project Director, and Dave Hynson, GBMC’s Chief Information Officer, who oversaw the entire design, testing and education process, and their Epic team for all their hard work in getting us ready to go live.
Also, I want to thank all of our physicians, those employed by GBMC and in private practice, all of our nurses, all of our nurse practitioners and physician assistants, all of our other clinicians, patient access representatives, billing personnel and every GBMC family member who has helped build the system, test it and get us to this point of readiness. I know how hard you have all worked and I am very grateful for all of your efforts. I am also grateful for the hard work and expertise of our colleagues from Epic.
Lastly, I want to express my gratitude to all those who worked in PP North and also at our Owings Mills site, entering several thousand appointments from the hospital and our physician practices into Epic. Recently, our team worked very hard on the schedule and registration conversion from Meditech and eCW. They posted more than 6,000 original Meditech appointments into Epic and an estimated 22,000 appointments from eCW. The team also completed an estimated 10,000 total registrations! Gilchrist Hospice manually converted the records of more than 750 patients.
Thank you all!
Some Records Are Made To Be Broken…
And boy did we break one! In case you didn’t know, GBMC Healthcare set the Guinness World Record for the longest ever awareness ribbon measuring 7,593 feet and 1 inch – more than 1.5 miles – during the 16th annual running of Legacy Chase steeplechase event at Shawan Downs last weekend. The lavender ribbon is a symbol of GBMC’s commitment to continually reduce the scourge of cancer.
Beyond breaking the record, this year’s event was a huge success. Cool weather, beautiful horses, a picturesque countryside setting and many family and friends – there were approximately 10,000 attendees this year – coming together equaled a spectacular time. And it was all for a good cause, as the money raised benefits oncology support services at the Sandra & Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute. The Institute is the only comprehensive community cancer program certified with distinction by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer in the Baltimore region. GBMC has invested in talent and technology to provide the best for oncology patients. Whether they are in need of outpatient, inpatient, home care, hospice or survivorship services, the more than 2,000 new cancer patients annually at GBMC get the best care.
This wonderful event would not have been successful without the support of our loyal volunteers, who helped us break the record and really made this year’s event very special. I thank all those who attended and all those who donated time or treasure. Special thanks to the GBMC Philanthropy and Marketing Departments, who worked so hard in putting the event together and for helping us break the record!