48-Hour status update
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of so many, the University of Michigan Health System has entered a new era of patient care. More than 14,000 clinicians and staff are using an electronic health record system, MiChart , for clinical care, registration, scheduling, billing, research and HIM. On Wednesday, Aug. 15, the MiChart clinical application, Ambulatory (EpicCare), was successful implemented in all UMHS outpatient units.
“This is much easier than I thought!”
Christopher Bichakjian, associate professor of Dermatology, said he has heard positive feedback from his colleagues about MiChart.
“With the exception of a few minor issues that are being resolved, I dare say the MiChart activation was a resounding success. Whether from a clerical, nursing or physician perspective, I have heard nothing but positive remarks,” Bichakjian said.
“I feel we were well prepared and it paid off. All the credit for this achievement goes, unquestionably, to our remarkable staff and faculty who have had a constant positive attitude about the whole process, which made the training period so much easier and more tolerable. Two days after implementation, workflow is starting to fall into place. It is still amazing to all the physicians that they can leave clinic without a pile of dictations left to do at the end of a busy day. Once everybody becomes completely familiar with all the details and the minor kinks are resolved, I am convinced MiChart will actually save us time and provide excellent patient care.”
Bichakjian’s sentiments were shared by Ilene Philips, associate director of clinical programs in the department of pediatrics and communicable diseases, “I really do think (the implementation) went so much better than people expected. In fact, I don’t think it could have gone any better. Everyone is really committed to making this work.”
Connie Yoanides, registered nurse in C&W OB/GYN, credited the camaraderie and preparation of the staff and clinicians in her areas as a contributing factor in their success.
“I was so anxious to see MiChart go-live. We worked hard to learn the new system and now that we are finally up and running, it is even more exciting,” she said. “I am very proud of all of my co-workers who remained positive about the long term benefits of this new system.”
Hands-on support during the go-live
Nearly 800 Super Users and 200 contracted “at-the-elbow” personnel were dispatched to provide hands-on support to end users over the next several days. Local Area Support Centers have also been set-up in 21 various locations to provide assistance.
“The efforts of our staff are phenomenal. It is amazing to see staff come together and help each other through this change,” said Jennifer Evans, medical assistant specialist and MiChart Super User for Internal Medicine. “Once everyone starts to familiarize themselves with the new system, they will see the great benefits it offers our patients. Today, I heard an employee say, ‘I think I can do this.’”
Another MiChart Super User, Kimberly Kantola, administrative assistant at Briarwood Health Associates, said that while staff were initially hesitant about using MiChart, the system provides new advantages that will continue to improve the care delivered by clinicians in the Health System.
“All of our doctors are really excited about the new things they can do with reports, labs and data,” she said. “In MiChart, you can make graphs to compare data and see trends. It’s pretty neat.”
Next steps and going forward
MiChart is a multi-year project that will continue to be implemented throughout the entire Health System, including Inpatient clinical care in 2014.
University of Michigan purchased the technology for MiChart from Epic Systems in July 2010 to replace or augment hundreds of clinical, research quality and business applications that were developed or purchased over the past two decades. MiChart also enables the institution to meet the federal government’s goals for meaningful use and use ICD-10 coding.