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Epic Systems Streamlines COVID-19 Treatment Access

As the Biden administration takes steps to expand COVID-19 treatment access around the country, providers that use Epic Systems will now be able to locate the antiviral treatment more effectively.

Epic Systems is working to make COVID-19 antiviral treatments easier for patients and providers to locate through its EHR, building on an initiative by the Biden administration to expand COVID-19 treatment access.

In March, Biden announced the Test-to-Treat Initiative that created more than 2,200 Test- to- Treat facilities so Americans can rapidly access needed COVID-19 treatments on the spot. Patients can get a COVID-19 tests, provider visits, and free oral antiviral pills within one stop.

Since implementing the initiative, the administration has further increased the availability of antivirals by doubling the number of pharmacies that carry COVID-19 treatments.

However, as the Biden administration ramps up its efforts to increase COVID-19 treatment access, several challenges have arisen, including keeping providers informed about the availability of COVID-19 treatments at pharmacies.

"While Test to Treat facilities are tremendous resources in their communities, it's important that we account for patients who seek care in other settings," Jackie Gerhart, MD, vice president of clinical informatics at Epic, said in a press release.

The EHR vendor, Epic Systems, will help mitigate some of the challenges and help providers connect patients with COVID-19 treatments more effectively.

"Through Epic, providers can more easily connect patients to lifesaving treatments as the administration significantly increases the number of pharmacies that carry those treatments," Gerhart added.

Providers that use Epic will be able to remain up to date about treatment information. Epic Systems will give providers the ability to search which pharmacies have received COVID-19 treatments from HHS and a recent stock report regarding the number of COVID-19 treatments available.

Prior to sending a prescription for a COVID-19 treatment, Epic providers will be notified if prescriptions are unavailable at the pharmacy.

Lastly, providers will be given more guidance regarding important COVID-19 treatment information through Epic and MyChart.

Ensuring that providers are informed about treatment information, such as FDA fact sheets, is essential to properly prescribing treatments so they can appropriately prescribe treatments to patients, the White House stated.

"This initiative ensures that ordering providers across the nation have access to accurate and timely information about the location and availability of these treatments," Gerhart stated. "As testing and treatment strategies continue to evolve, the rapid incorporation and dissemination of information at the point of care will continue to be a critical part of the fight against COVID-19."

This is not the only way Epic has helped the Biden administration achieve its COVID-19 treatment access goals, the vendor said..

In early 2021, when President Biden released his COVID-19 vaccination strategy, Epic Systems set up 100 COVID-19 vaccination sites across the country with its EHR.

The EHR vendor exceeded its goal of setting up 100 federally supported vaccination centers by February 2021, doing it in less than a month.

Epic software was used to administer roughly 500,000 daily vaccinations across traditional clinical settings and mass vaccination sites.

"We are proud to help the health systems supporting the national goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the administration's first 100 days," Judy Faulkner, founder, and CEO of Epic said in a statement. "Doing what often takes months, health systems have moved in a matter of days and weeks to set up locations with the technology needed to conduct mass vaccinations."

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