WMC rolls out new electronic health record September 16

Released: 09/08/17

Members of the WMC Epic Core planning team who have worked for many months on implementation and education.

On Saturday, September 16, Winneshiek Medical Center will transition to a new electronic health record system (EHR) to enhance patient care and experience, called Epic.

Having experienced Epic in other health care organizations, Darin and Mary Kleve of Fort Atkinson were excited to learn of Winneshiek Medical Center’s transition to Epic. Mary says, “The Epic system allows patients to have access to their information at any clinic or hospital you visit that also uses this system.” In our region, that list includes Mayo Clinic (spring 2018), Mayo Clinic Health System, Gundersen Health System, and University of Iowa, to name a few. She adds, “As a patient, the ease of accessing my medical history, test results and medication by other medical staff is the key to getting the best care possible. The addition of Epic to Winneshiek Medical Center will be great for our community.”

“As a lifelong community health partner, Winneshiek Medical Center selected leading technology in the industry to meet our patients’ individual needs,” says Lisa Radtke, chief administrative officer, Winneshiek Medical Center.   “The name of the system – Epic – truly reflects the capabilities it brings to our organization and community, and the work staff and providers have put into implementation.”

Background

Winneshiek Medical Center identified the need for an updated electronic health record to meet the growing needs of the organization, replacing the current EHR implemented in 2003. The $2.5 million project became a strategic priority and was approved by the Board of Trustees in April 2016.

Like other rural, critical access hospitals, WMC could only access their preferred EHR solution, Epic, through an Epic Connect product. Radtke says, “Epic Connect is a way for smaller medical centers to partner with fully implemented Epic health care providers to access the technology, reducing our costs for implementation and support.” Following an extensive evaluation process, Winneshiek Medical Center selected the University of Iowa as their partner in implementing Epic Connect. The University has successfully implemented this EHR solution in five other Iowa hospitals, and is dedicated to helping smaller Iowa health care organizations.

The needs of the patient come first

Radtke says, “Epic implementation is guided by Winneshiek Medical Center’s values of teamwork, respect, compassion, integrity, healing, excellence, innovation and stewardship. And as the new system rolls out at Winneshiek Medical Center, our patients remain our top priority.”

Epic provides many benefits and efficiencies to enhance health care at Winneshiek Medical Center:

  • A more user-friendly patient portal, called MyChart, with features like secure messaging, test results and notes from your clinic appointment
  • The ability to exchange health information with other facilities that also use Epic as their electronic medical record: Mayo Clinic (spring 2018), Mayo Clinic Health System, Gundersen Health System, and University of Iowa, to name a few
  • WMC providers and staff will be supported in patient care by leading technology in the industry, across the organization
  • Improve our ability to communicate with each other, thus providing better, safer care for patients and their families

Radtke says, “Patients can be assured we are being trained on the new system. Because it is new we may need to spend more time than usual to register, review and document care as we go through the transition. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding, and look forward to the many enhancements Epic will bring as we work to meet the needs of our patients each and every day.”

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