Electronic Health Records

Adoption & Implementation News

El Camino Epic EHR Implementation Officially Up and Running

"With iCare we are moving into the next generation of electronic information systems."

By Sara Heath

El Camino Hospital’s Epic EHR go-live is officially underway, according to a recent Mountain View Voice report.

epic EHR implementation

El Camino announced its transition to Epic EHR technology back in June of 2014, stating that adopting an Epic EHR system would help them achieve the triple aim of increasing care quality, service, and cost of care.

"We are embarking on a journey that advances focus on the patient and one which supports our commitment on the Triple Aim to improve quality, service and affordability," said El Camino president and CEO Tomi Ryba, in a hospital statement.

Additionally, this transition will help the hospital’s employees increase patient engagement through a patient portal attachment to the Epic EHR.

Other Hospitals That Have Epic EHR Implemented

Kevin Forestieri reports that El Camino’s EHR platform, dubbed iCare, was projected for implementation on November 7.

“The new system, called iCare, will give patients the ability to look up their medical test results, schedule appointments, refill prescriptions and even fill out the lengthy pre-visit questionnaires,” Forestieri writes.

Patients will be able to access this portal through their own home computers, allowing them to see their health information at any time, making them more empowered in their health.

“When fully implemented, iCare will enable patients to access their medical record via MyChart, a fully integrated patient portal. Access to information will improve the patient's care by the patient being fully informed and empowered by having their medical history at their fingertips,” the hospital explained in its press release.

Furthermore, adopting an Epic EHR system will help coordinate patient care, allowing physicians to securely share patient information with one another across the Epic platform.

“[P]hysicians outside of El Camino Hospital and the Epic EHR system can access a read-only version of patient records, removing a long-standing communication barrier,” adds Forestieri.

Epic is one of the most prominent EHR systems not only throughout Northern California, but throughout the entire nation as well. El Camino explains the over 50 percent of patients have some health file stored on an Epic system, so joining the other hospitals that use Epic will increase care coordination for an enormous amount of people.

Improving care coordination in this way helps physicians see a full picture of patient health, improving the scope of care provided.

"This integration will allow us to securely share patient information with other healthcare organizations. This will give us enormous opportunities to know our patients' medical history and better inform their care while there are under our care," says El Camino’s CIO Greg Walton.

According to hospital officials, El Camino’s EHR implementation took into account the major cybersecurity threat many healthcare facilities have been facing recently. Within the past year, the healthcare industry  has experienced several massive health data breaches, such as those at Premera Blue Cross, Anthem, and UCLA Health System. All of these data breaches resulted in the disclosure of millions of patients’ information.

By shaping implementation around various government security standards such as HIPAA and HITECH, El Camino reportedly made security its highest priority during implementation.

“Walton said El Camino Hospital is rolling out iCare with security and privacy as a ‘top priority,’ using specific security standards called the HITRUST Common Security Framework, which helps the hospital bring its security level up to government regulations and standards,” reported Forestieri. “He said the system has been audited, and the hospital has an in-house security team to monitor and update the system.”

The Epic EHR implementation reportedly cost El Camino $125 million and the manpower of over 100 hospital employees, including physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. El Camino officials explain that this investment is in keeping with the hospital's long-standing commitment to health technology integration.

"El Camino Hospital has always been a leader in electronic clinical communications with its launch of the nation's first computerized physician order system in 1971," says Debbi Muro, the project leader. "With iCare we are moving into the next generation of electronic information systems."

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