According to a recent report from ABC 10 News Michigan, an Iron River hospital is beginning to make some “epic” changes to its health system by employing electronic health records. Between 2012 and 2013, office-based physicians increased their use of EHR systems by 21%, and Northstar Health System is looking to join the tally. The system they’re introducing goes by the name Epic, and was initiated because of a requirement in the Affordable Care Act.
“So Epic is known for it’s customer satisfaction, and it’s a very responsive and fast program. It allows providers to be more efficient,” says Jennifer Skarlupka-Reetz, Project Manager of the system’s introduction. Having medical records in electronic form will free up more time for staff to spend with their patients, instead of having to sort through the accompanying paperwork. Epic will also allow patients to have access to their own medical records, as well as giving them the ability to make their own appointments, allowing them full control of their medical information and scheduling. Becky Krause, a Clinical Informatics Nurse Specialist, explains:
“Patients involvement will increase greatly, as they start to use MyAspirus, or MyChart, which is what the Epic terminology is for it. They’ll be able to schedule appointments, see what the medical record is that the providers are in fact using themselves.”
Northstar Health System’s CEO, Connie Koutouzos, thanked the hospital staff for putting on more than 66,000 hours of budgeted time preparing for the system’s launch on August 23. The new system will be able to offer both patients and providers the seamless care that allows them to transfer information quickly, with additional security and guaranteed updated material. EHR systems help to make it easier for patients with multiple specialists to stay in communication, and prevent documentation-related errors.