- For Baptist Memorial Health Care, the New Year kicked off its journey of implementing and adopting an integrated EHR solution from Epic Systems. Vice President and Chief Clinical Transformation Officer Beverly Jordan is at the forefront of Baptist’s efforts to roll out its Baptist OneCare solution throughout its entire network of hospitals and medical groups, an implementation that is occurring in waves from the outside in.
As Jordan explains in an interview with EHRIntelligence.com, the project is all about integration but that this it is not limited to the health system’s EHR and health IT systems. It also encompasses its approach to working with its staff and partners to make its EHR adoption successful.
Describe the makeup of Baptist Memorial Healthcare Care.
We currently have 14 hospitals in 3 states as well as 550 physicians that are in the Baptist Medical Group, the physician-centric arm of the organization. Those physicians are in clinics throughout the 3-state region as well, and those clinics are affiliated with the hospitals in terms of referrals and taking care of their patients inside the hospital and the overall health system.
How did the organization come to choose Epic Systems for its EHR?
One of the reasons we went with Epic was because of the integration. It ties those physicians and hospitals together and then also allows us to extend that into the community, which is part of our mission. In some of our hospitals we were in the process of rolling out an EHR with another vendor, and in the clinics we had a variety of different vendors. Branded Baptist OneCare, the Epic EHR is our single solution for our entire enterprise — that is, the patient financials as well as all the clinical applications.
We had strategic decisions about how do the EHR rollout in the hospitals before we started acquiring physician practices. We had very solid strategies for both, but when we had the opportunity to look at how we wanted to connect them in the best interest of patient care, safety, efficiency, and quality, — all of those things we are responsible for — we believed that Epic was the best strategic solution for the entire enterprise.
How is implementation of the Epic EHR progressing?
We just went live on January 1 with our first wave of clinics. That was in 60 locations with greater than 120 providers and 600 employees. On March 11, we’ll be taking our first four hospitals live — that’s three acute care hospitals and one long term acute care hospital. Those four hospitals are in a geographically close area in metro Memphis. The clinics going live on January 1 were in about a 250-mile radius from Memphis, so we were going north and south and then Memphis is the hub, the home of our corporate office. Then we have sequential rollouts in August, September, and December. On October 1, we throw in ICD-10 so that the government will be happy with us. During the first half of January 2015, we finish up the rollouts.
How would you describe the organization’s relationship with Epic?
From the very first contact we had with Epic, we believed that we shared the same values about patient care, the patient being at the center, and I still believe that. We signed a contract with them in July 2012 and it is January 2014, and they are the strongest business partner. It’s kind of magical, to be honest.
They have been by us every step of the way. I’m at Mission Control right now, which is the name of our command center and if you walked out there right now — this is something that someone else said, not me — you wouldn’t know who was Epic or Baptist. It’s a very collaborative and cohesive team spirit to get the work done on time and to do the right things at the right time for the right reasons. With that said, it’s a very intense project.
What does the process of implementing Epic entail?
It’s very methodical and sequential. Everything has trackers. We have the support we need either on site or remotely. Right now there are members of the Epic team dispersed out into these clinics that went live at the beginning of this month. So there are Epic people out there along with our credentialed trainers, superusers, doctors, staff, and the BMC leadership team. The Baptist OneCare team is here at Mission Control because we are where the issues come in and we communicate and work on issues. It is a team project. The products are not just integrated — the approach to the project is integrated as well.
Lastly, you have encountered any pushback or resistance to the rollout?
I have not met resistance on a global level. Obviously, you have some people who ask a lot more questions or others who would prefer to keep doing things the way that they’re doing them because change is hard.
The spirit of this install has been to engage the frontline staff from the very beginning. Back in November 2013, we kicked off activities with our subject matter experts and at this point we have more than 650 of them and greater than 150 physician subject matter experts. And then we have the credentialed trainers and superusers — in the clinics it is greater than 600 and in the hospitals it is greater than 1,200. If you did a mapping of how involved everybody has been over the last 15 months, we didn’t just deliver them a computer system; they were a part of the process from the very beginning. We built it together. One of the greatest joys has been watching how that model unfolded.