TX Health System Finishes Epic Systems EHR Implementation – EHRIntelligence.com

By Christopher Jason

– CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System, a faith-based health system residing in Texas, recently completed an Epic Systems EHR implementation to upgrade interoperability throughout its several healthcare facilities and to enhance patient care.

“CHRISTUS Good Shepherd is proud to be at the forefront of the electronic integration that is revolutionizing how care is provided across the country,” Todd Hancock, president and chief executive officer at CHRISTUS, said in a press release. “New tools like Epic and MyChart will make it easier for our patients and doctors to interact, thus improving communication and creating more ways for patients to access health care services.”

The health system said it was highly motivated by the potential for increased interoperability between CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System and its several other medical centers in the region. Additionally, a CHRISTUS patient can share her personal health records with a separate hospital in the health system, or an Epic-wired hospital outside of the CHRISTUS health system.

“The EHR provides a comprehensive, single-system approach for the people of this community, including everything from registration to clinical orders, medical records and billing, replacing many of the older systems,” said Suhel Patel, chief medical officer at CHRISTUS.

“Epic also improves quality of care by enhancing safety – with Epic, treatment orders, medication orders and documentation are entered directly into the Epic system, greatly reducing any chance of miscommunication and misinterpretation. Additionally, Epic improves accessibility for our caregivers. They can now easily access a single shared medical record for our patients, including history of care received at any other Epic health care provider across the nation,” Patel continued.

Patients will also gain full access to Epic’s patient portal, MyChart. A patient can utilize the patient portal to schedule appointments, place orders for prescription refills, communicate with providers, and view both health history and lab results. A patient can access the patient portal on their mobile phone or computer.

The American Hospital Association has named both CHRISTUS Health and CHRISTUS Trinity Clinics America’s Most Wired due to their consistent health IT investments and decision-making, the health system added.

“At CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System, we’re committed to continually improving and expanding access to care,” Hancock continued. “These technologies can help us better serve our communities and support our mission of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. In today’s changing health care environment, technology will play an ever-increasing role in supporting high-quality patient care practices and meeting the diverse needs of the communities we serve.”

Epic is making its mark in the Lone Star State.

Over the summer, University Health System, a South Texas and San Antonio-based hospital and its network of outpatient healthcare centers, launched a $170 million health IT upgrade in partnership with the EHR vendor.

Due to COVID-19, health IT experts at UHS and Epic Systems were unable to work together to guide the implementation, which resulted in a two-month implementation delay. As a result, the health system was forced to conduct a remote, virtual EHR implementation.

The vendor’s cloud-based EHR was implemented at University Hospital, UHS health clinics, and Bexar County Jail. The health system employs roughly 10,000 employees across those facilities.

Epic is the first EHR vendor to make real progress toward universal patient data sharing and interoperability, according to a recent KLAS report.

Almost all Epic users reported access to outside data and nearly two-thirds achieve “deep interoperability.” However, its most progressive customers want the vendor to increase its use of APIs.

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