The Definitive Blog

2013-05-08 – Olympic Medical Center Fires Up Its New Epic EHR

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Four days after Olympic Medical Center fired up its new electronic health records system, hospital officials said the transition was going well, with some expected bumps along the way.

The hospital and its satellite clinics in Port Angeles and Sequim converted to the $7.6 million Epic system early Saturday.

“There have been delays in some patient appointments and some inconveniences that are unfortunate but somewhat expected,” said Dr. Mark Fischer, a member of the Epic implementation team.

“We are well aware of these and every day are improving in all areas of the medical center. This body of work will continue for the next couple to several weeks.”

Providence Health & Services, a partner of OMC affiliate Swedish Medical Center, has more than 100 support staff assisting with the landmark conversion to the start-of-the-art single-database system.

“Overall, things are going very well,” said Steve Hayter, Providence Health & Services senior director of outreach and Epic Community Connect.

“We are not seeing anything that is outside the norm for Epic go-lives of this size. The real success at OMC are the people who work here and their leadership.”

Hayter added: “Their dedication and commitment to improving the health care of their patients is palpable, and implementing the premier, fully integrated electronic health care information system is an integral part of improving that care.”

OMC officials have said Epic will improve patient care by making medical charts available to more providers in real time. Patients will have access to their health records through a secure online portal.

Providence is helping several other Washington hospitals — and tracking their progress — as they convert to Epic this year. Jefferson Healthcare, for example, plans to go live with Epic on June 15.

As OMC was launching its new system, the first “Epic baby,” Mazie Reagan Konopaski, was born to Ashley and Kolby Konopaski of Port Angeles, hospital officials said.

“It has been an amazing team effort with the Olympic Medical Center family, providers, nurses and our excellent Providence colleagues,” Fischer said.

“We are meeting or surpassing Providence go-live measurements.”

The public hospital district is Clallam County’s largest employer, with a staff of about 1,100.

“OMC employees and medical staff are performing exceptionally well,” said Eric Lewis, chief executive officer.

“We are addressing technical issues as they arise, and each day is better and better.”

May 21, 2013