EHR Update to Sutter Delta Medical Staff | May 10, 2012
May 10, 2012
On behalf of the Sutter EHR implementation team I want to share with you the enthusiasm brought on by the recent announcement that Sutter Delta will be going live on the EHR on March 1, 2013. Although Sutter Delta has been well represented on the team, this new date will forge an even closer tie. In this memo I want to bring you up to date on where we are with the project.
Our Sutter Health EHR (electronic health record) is on schedule to go live Dec. 1 at the new Eden Medical Center and goes live at Sutter Delta and Alta Bates Summit on March 1, 2013. This project represents a very exciting advance for our hospitals and is an essential element of our commitment to provide state-of-the-art care to our patients. While exciting, the successful implementation of the EHR is an enormous task that will touch everyone who works at our medical facilities. As the point person for physician engagement in our region, I want to let you know about resources that are here to serve you as we make this transition, as well as opportunities for you to get involved to make the project a success.
Our EHR is a system that goes well beyond the concept of transitioning from a world of paper-based clinical documentation to an electronic format. For starters, Sutter Health has committed to a system where patients treated within any of our facilities will have a single patient record: “one patient/one record.” This commitment in turn requires that we have a single EHR throughout the Sutter Health network of care. Secondly, our EHR will be a comprehensive, integrated system. Every aspect of the delivery of care -- from scheduling services, tracking patients within hospitals, ordering tests and procedures, documenting clinical progress, storing results to billing and collection -- will be handled through our EHR. This is a far more complex system than just creating electronic charts.
Our EHR is based on the Epic platform. This system is used by many of the large health care systems in the country, a fact that will allow remarkable sharing of information not only within Sutter but between other systems that use Epic. Fortunately thanks to the collaboration across all affiliates, the Sutter “build” of Epic represents the input of representatives throughout our system and, in particular, the East Bay. Sutter Health’s EHR has been successfully implemented at Sutter Health facilities on the Peninsula, and in the South Bay and Central Valley. We now have the opportunity to draft off this experience and install this build of the Sutter Health EHR in our East Bay hospitals.
So where are we in this process? A tremendous amount of work already has gone into the project. Much of this involves aspects of the project that we physicians might not think about, but which are critical to successfully implementing the EHR. This requires a complete analysis of every aspect of clinical care and business processes. The implementation team has begun this intense assessment of workflows at Delta to make sure that we understand any adjustments that may be necessary to accommodate the EHR. Other aspects are a little closer to home for physicians. Medical staff bylaws to accommodate policies and procedures affecting the EHR have been adopted by the Medical Executive Committees and medical staffs. Many physicians have participated as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to help analyze clinical work flows and review order sets that will be available in the EHR. Some of your colleagues have spent hours contributing to this process already.
How will this affect us? There is no question that the EHR will have a major impact on how we provide and document patient care. After “go-live,” all aspects of clinical documentation will be done through the EHR. Physicians will be required to do their own orders through the process of computerized physician order entry, or CPOE. All documentation of patient care will be done through the EHR. We recognize that this will not happen without a great deal of support to help with training. We have an experienced team of trainers who are putting together a robust training program that will provide multiple ways to learn about the system and become proficient in its use. This will include interactive demonstrations of the system in the form of “Cyber Cafés.” We will send out information soon about these and how you can sign up to participate. Another important component of the training is the online learning modules. These are designed to allow physicians to learn about the system on one’s own time schedule and provide an important foundation for the more formal classroom based “fundamentals training“which will be required a few weeks before go-live. Perhaps most important will be the opportunity to work with the training team to create “smart tools” which afford the ability to create some individual customization of the system. We certainly recognize that learning a new system is a big commitment. Our commitment in turn is to make the process as efficient as possible. There will be much more information about training in the near future.
Who do you turn to if you have questions? At each campus, there is a Physician Engagement Team (PET) that consists of a designated “champion” supported by “ambassadors” and “super users.” There also will be an administrative “physician liaison” to support the PET. Sutter Delta’s Physician Engagement Team members are:
- Bobby Glickman, M.D., General Surgeon – Champion, Chief of Staff
- Anthony Carandang, M.D., Hospitalist – Ambassador
- Sharon DeEdwards, M.D., OB/GYN – Ambassador
- Sanjay Ray, M.D., Cardiology – Ambassador
- Brion Pearson, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs
What’s next? Physicians continue to have an important role guiding how we implement the EHR by:
- Leading the EHR Physician Advisory Committee (ePAC)
- Serving as Physician Champions – your peers who are the medical staff’s go-to people for all things EHR
- Contributing expertise and time as Subject Matter Experts reviewing new EHR-enabled work processes
- Participating in electronic order set review to validate order sets designed by physicians here and across the Sutter Health system to meet the specialties and service mix of the medical center
- Advising on training approaches and materials and providing at-the-elbow support during go-live
Please look for regular updates on the Sutter Health EHR. Let us thank you in advance for your participation in this project and let us know if you have any questions or comments.