Kootenai Health Completes Epic EHR Implementation

As a result of this new Epic EHR implementation, patients at Kootenai Health will be able to access their medical information through one platform.

Kootenai Health has completed its Epic EHR implementation following 12 months of technical configuration.

The new Epic EHR system replaced 11 fragmented EHRs. Centralizing the EHR onto one system will allow patients and providers to access information in one single, secure place for better interoperability and better patient care, the press release stated.

Patients will be able to view test results, update personal information, make appointments, and communicate with their care team through the online patient portal, MyChart.

“Our new electronic health record system puts all of a patient’s information in one place,” Chief Medical Information Officer Amanda Jackson, MD, said in the press release. “When a physician is able to access a patient’s complete medical record, it makes patient care safer and more effective.”

Epic’s EHR system is used by over 250 organizations, with many of them within a 40-mile radius of Kootenai Health, the announcement said. The transition to this system will increase health information exchange between other healthcare organizations, promoting easier referrals and transfers.

Epic EHR system has been well recognized for its quality technology. For the 12th consecutive year, Epic was named the top Overall Software Suite in the Best in KLAS 2022 report.

Epic was also recognized as the top Overall Physician Practice Vendor. The EHR vendor won nine additional Best in KLAS awards, including top patient portal.

Despite the benefits an Epic EHR implementation can offer, clinician engagement and workflow-specific training remain critical to reap the advantages as well as ensure a successful implementation, a separate JAMIA study suggested.

EHR transitions do not only impact the technology for delivering health care but also the clinical workflow process.

Healthcare leaders and clinical staff who may not be as familiar with health IT and informatics often play a leading role in EHR transitions, the study researcher stated.

Organizational leaders must create a governance structure that includes experts with operational and technical expertise to monitor the EHR transition and intervene as issues arise.

In addition, governance structures that ensure clinician engagement in the EHR implementation planning process could help optimize the EHR to meet user needs better, the authors said.

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