The nurses, physicians, and other providers in the Connecticut Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UConn Health soon will be joining the rest of UConn Health in replacing paper records with the integrated electronic health record system Epic.
Training on the new system is underway, and it’s not just for the nurses and physicians in the NICU, as nurse manager Lisa Dion points out, “Epic will be available to all team members who are involved in the care of neonates.”
That includes respiratory therapists, lactation nurses, dietitians, pharmacy staff, social workers, case managers, occupational and speech therapists, and wound care specialists.
Connecticut Children’s NICU at UConn Health, part of a multi-location NICU run by Connecticut Children’s, was unable integrate with the initial Epic go-live at UConn Health in 2018 and has stayed with paper documentation since.
The June 28 move to UConn Health’s instance of Epic, with streamlined workflows eliminating double documentation and transcribing of orders, is designed to improve patient safety by reducing error potential. And uniformed clinical documentation will provide timely access by all providers to the single source of truth for all patient information.
“Our team’s practice will be aligned with current standards for documentation of patient information,” Dion says. “Team members will have access to patient information and imaging in one location.”
In addition to enhancing quality and safety, patients will benefit from improved communication and access to information via MyChart, Epic’s online patient portal, and Care Everywhere, which enables providers from both UConn Health and Connecticut Children’s to access the record in real time.
“This will enable continuity of care and interoperability for improved patient care and coordination,” says Patti Siegel, director of Epic inpatient applications in UConn Health’s IT Department.
Role-specific Epic training is taking place through June 21. The training team has identified 17 “super users” to help with training and provide support once the system goes online.
“Beyond the scheduled training sessions, the best way to adjust to Epic and become proficient is to practice using the system prior to the June 28 go-live, and of course, ask for help,” Siegel says. “We’ll have at-the-elbow support during go-live, plus the IT service desk will have 24/7 on-call support.”
“This project has a fantastic team dedicated to providing the best solution for our NICU caregivers and the staff who support them, and of course the best possible care for our NICU babies,” says UConn Health IT project manager Alka Sharma.