Instance alignment is the process of bringing our three current, separate versions of Epic into one. This is a collaborative effort by clinicians across the system that also incorporates upgraded Epic functionality. Clinicians currently on Epic will begin using this new version in 2019, and those new to Epic will implement in 2020 and 2021. This is a huge and unprecedented undertaking.
But what happens after that? Plans for optimizing this new single instance of Epic have already begun and this effort is called Unified Epic Optimization. A major priority for this optimization effort is improved caregiver usability of the electronic health record (EHR). Nursing documentation is one of the initial areas of improvement, because of the significant impact that streamlining documentation could have on the care experience of patients and the work experience of nurses. To that end, 72 nurses from across PSJH gathered in December 2018 to discuss both high level and specific areas of concern and burden, and to explore suggestions for improvement. Here are a few of the many findings.
- Improved visibility and tracking of nursing tasks and care responsibilities will come with the upgrade.
- Functionality to search and find assessment and intervention documentation fields will come with the upgrade.
- Improved visibility across care continuum for Lines, Drains, Airways, and Wound Documentation, together with a fun and informative avatar (picture of the body), will come with the upgrade.
- A project to improve visibility of MAR glucose management and point of care devices has been initiated.
- In the next 12-24 months, flowsheets will be reorganized to present first things first and organize content more logically.
- Longer term projects include reducing duplicative documentation, streamlining flowsheets, and improving the array of choices in common documentation activities.
This was a successful and effective forum for identifying improvements and attendee feedback was very positive (see real attendee comments below). We will keep you updated on progress through the Best in the West Nursing newsletter.