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Epic EHR Fuels Yale New Haven Hospital Care Coordination Center

A dashboard integrated into Epic EHR helps a care coordination center at Yale New Haven Hospital manage overdose patients.

A care coordination center in Yale New Haven utilizes Epic EHR to streamline patient care.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Yale New Haven Hospital is using Epic EHR to provide detailed data about patient health, available beds, bed-cleaning time, transport time, hospital safety, and quality to streamline processes at its care coordination center, according to Chron.

The Capacity Coordination Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital — one of two hospitals part of the Yale New Haven Hospital campus — oversees and directs incoming patients to available beds to reduce the likelihood either Emergency Department will be faced with an overload of patients.

The center has helped Yale New Haven providers to transport 114 cases between both hospitals part of the network, New Haven Emergency Operations Director Rick Fontana told Chron.

“Everybody agreed that we were able to split the individuals based on their signs and symptoms to both hospitals and not to overburden either hospital at one time,” he continued.

If patients that come to the Emergency Department are admitted to the hospital, members of the care coordination center — including nurses and other staff — are assigned to new patients as needed. The care coordination center also connects physicians, staff who need to assist with patient transport, and staff in charge of cleaning and preparing rooms to ensure patients are admitted to available beds as seamlessly and quickly as possible.

“It’s about improving the processes,” said Capacity Coordination Center Director Maribeth Cabie. “If I can get you from the ED to your bed in a timely and efficient manner, your care starts earlier and on the back end you’re able to leave earlier. If I can even save 10 minutes in the ED … over the course of a year that becomes a significant amount of time.”

An Epic EHR-integrated care coordination dashboard is integral to this process.

In addition to patient health information, bed-cleaning time, transport time, and quality and safety indicators, the dashboard also displays information about newly-admitted and discharged patients.

The left side of the dashboard displays patients on their way to the hospital, the center shows patients who have been admitted, and the right side shows patients who are being discharged. The dashboard also provides information about ambulances leaving campus, Physician and Patient Access Services Administrative Director Victor Morris, MD, told Chron.

“We are the first institution to create these dashboards,” said Cabie. “They are built in and part of our electronic medical record, which is Epic. They update automatically with live feed because they’re in the medical record and are able to update us with that situational awareness.

“The setup of using Epic for our dashboards has led a lot of academic medical institutions and health systems to come and visit us here,” she continued.

The system also facilitates communication between providers across care settings and departments.

“What makes this work is the communication and collaboration within this room,” Cabie said.

Staff across the Yale New Haven network are involved with the care coordination center including staff part of the pharmacy, food and nutrition, telehealth, lab, and quality and safety departments.

Clinicians and staff across these departments meet every morning to discuss the number of operating room cases they expect to see that day, as well as how many ambulances have come to the hospital.

“It creates a picture of what the day looks like,” said Cabie.

“It’s a time where we can provide any critical updates that will impact the operations of the hospital,” she continued.

Staff members in charge of bed management help to ensure providers can see patients as soon as possible.

 “Once it’s decided that a patient is ready for admission, they’re finding the right bed at the right time for the right patient,” Cabie explained.

“If we have a critical patient that needs an ICU-level bed, there may be collaboration within the room to identify the bed, make sure it’s cleaned and to make sure that we get the patient to that bed as soon as possible,” she added.

By leveraging Epic EHR to offer providers up-to-date patient and hospital information at the point of care, Yale New Haven Hospital can better manage a high volume of patients in the fast-paced emergency care setting.

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