UTHealth Enlists Health IT Firm for Epic EHR Implementation, Adoption

The academic health center hired a health IT consulting firm to aid physician adoption of its Epic EHR implementation through one-on-one sessions.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) leveraged a health IT consulting firm to help guide its Epic EHR implementation.

ReMedi Health Solutions scheduled and conducted Epic Personalization sessions for UTHealth’s 2,000 clinicians, including those at UT Physicians, the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, and UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center.

The firm’s virtual model allowed for all 2,000 Epic Personalization sessions to take place in the span of just 20 days.

The sessions lead to strong physician support of the new Epic system; the firm’s physician opt-in process resulted in 70 percent adoption in the first 10 days.

Additionally, data generated from the sessions helped UTHealth leadership gauge the EHR adoption progress.

“ReMedi’s physicians were able to train UTHealth’s practitioners prior to switching to Epic,” Babatope Fatuyi, MD, chief medical information officer at UTHealth, said in a public statement. “The virtual model assisted our physicians in making the transition to Epic.”

The firm leveraged 20 EHR physician consultants to conduct personalization sessions for clinicians across 18 specialties. Each consultant facilitated about 120 sessions per day.

The EHR physician consultants also supported UTHealth with staff adoption of Epic mobile apps Canto and Haiku, as well as Nuance’s Dragon speech-to-text software which enables physician dictation within the Epic EHR.

The firm built and developed an AI-powered virtual assistant to provide physicians with step-by-step clinical workflows. Physicians also have access to resources that explain how to navigate the new EHR system.

With its physician-centered approach, the firm plans to ensure that the end-user experience is prioritized throughout the EHR implementation process.

Sonny Hyare, MD, ReMedi Health Solutions’ chief executive officer, said that physician opt-in and EHR understanding are vital in EHR implementations.

“Physicians are the only ones that can enter the information into the systems that keep hospitals and clinics running as efficiently as possible,” Hyare explained. “ReMedi is here to ensure that they know exactly how to utilize the new Epic system and that it is customized to their respective specialties.”

Epic was recently named Best in KLAS Overall Software Suite for the 11th consecutive year in KLAS’ Complete Look report. Epic’s EHR also holds the largest market share in US hospitals, KLAS wrote.

Overall, 94 percent of customers reported satisfaction with the EHR implementation, and 63 percent of customers reported deep interoperability with the health IT.

However, Epic’s large up-front cost remains a barrier to entry for many organizations, the report noted. Another downside of the technology is that customers are mostly on their own to develop expertise for cardiology, oncology, behavioral health, and Cogito machine learning solutions.

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