PeaceHealth Clinics Implement New Electronic Health Record

12/2/2013
To better serve patients by using newer health care technologies, PeaceHealth Medical Group clinics today are using a new electronic health record (EHR) known as Epic. The new Epic system went “live” on Sunday, December 1st.

“Timely information is critical to high quality patient care,” said Lawrence Neville, MD, Vice-President of PeaceHealth Medical Group’s Columbia Network operations. “This new electronic health record system is a powerful tool that will be very effective in helping PeaceHealth to better manage our patients’ care.”

Among the many benefits of the new Epic EHR – a certified system that meets federal health care reform standards – is the easy, secure retrieval of information for providers in a variety of ways. Patients and physicians alike benefit from this enhancement. Epic allows PeaceHealth to track medical information with much greater efficiency and accuracy while improving communication with our patients.

Patients will benefit because the Epic EHR is used by many health care facilities across the Pacific Northwest and nationwide, which makes it simple for patients, no matter where they receive their care, to have providers exchange important medical information on their behalf. This connectivity adds convenience for patients who travel and may need care outside of their community. Doctors from the many other health systems that use the Epic EHR across the country can use Epic to easily look up notes from recent visits, as well as allergies, medications, or other information for a patient who received care at PeaceHealth.
 
Additionally, the new Epic EHR allows providers to accurately and easily document each patient’s visit, track records, coordinate medications and communication to reduce potential for medication errors, and simplifies the referrals process. The Epic EHR is paper-free and provides secure electronic communication between providers and pharmacists and laboratories, as well as between patients and their health care team.

In addition, the Epic EHR makes it easier for patients to see their own records and interact with their clinic remotely, 24/7.  With the Epic EHR, patients who sign up for “PatientConnection” – a free online tool – are able to:
·         Send a secure message to their health care team (replies typically within one to three business days);
·         View a summary of and recommendations from their last visit;
·         Directly schedule a primary-care appointment;
·         View results of lab or other tests; and
·         View allergies or medications.
 
Patients may experience short waits in the coming weeks at their next visit as PeaceHealth updates their electronic medical record, as there may be a need to verify some of the items in the EHR. PeaceHealth thanks all of our patients for their patience and understanding as we take this exciting step into the future of healthcare!