Background: Brad Rogers worked at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas when it transitioned to using Epic. Later he used the system at UT Health (University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston).
You have several years of experience using EpicCare. What do you like best about the system? The available data will provide better decision analytics, which will help UCLA improve its financial and clinical operations to support the care provided to patients. I also like the system's integration. The outpatient and inpatient data are fully integrated along with the clinical and financial information.
What other improvements do you anticipate with CareConnect here at UCLA? The key word is "integration." It helps increase efficiency of faculty and staff. Integration of radiology into CareConnect will make work so much easier for orthopaedics faculty. Integration of schedules and encounters will increase efficiency of call center staff. Integration of clinical and financial information is really efficient.
For example, information from an encounter drops directly into a bill. [And] having all information in one place will help me design better clinic processes. It's going to be very important for future things like the transition to ICD-10, which vastly increases the total number of diagnoses -- a human mind cannot hold all this information.
Do you miss using Epic? I miss it a lot. Here, when you need information you typically have to access multiple systems. They're DOS-based -- it's like going back 30 years. The point-and-click of Epic is a vast improvement.
What do you expect to be the most challenging part of the rollout to CareConnect? Patient scheduling is going to be a challenge because appointments and procedures are scheduled in advance of the encounter. A few weeks prior to CareConnect's implementation staff will schedule patients in CareConnect while still using the current scheduling system.We need a good project management plan to make sure we're ready. Texas Children's Hospital in Houston saw an increase in collections and productivity in the first month after transitioning to Epic. They were really ready when they went live.
What can we do to make sure we're ready? CareConnect is doing a better job of change management than anywhere I've been. Still it's going to be a culture change -- it will bring a greater degree of standardization than the current culture so we have to be adaptable to this change. Epic comes out of the box with a great design, but UCLA is a complex organization. With anything of this size, people need to ensure that their input is given on the current processes. It's important to go to validation sessions and participate in advisory groups. Training is also critical. We have to be very clear about what staff job functions are, so we send people to training that connects directly to what they do.
What would you say to new users? People need to know that there will be transition challenges. However, it is my impression that UCLA will have onsite support available during the implementation phase to help departments overcome short-term barriers to implementation.
Anything else? Yes, patients like "My Chart" [the patient portal of CareConnect]. It's a great way to pass on lab results and manage patient expectations. I foresee MyChart as a tool UCLA can use to increase patient satisfaction scores. MyChart empowers patients by giving them tools to assist in managing their care. For example, when I was a patient in Texas my physician would send my test results to me for review with his personal notes on any actions required from me.