Background: Joanne Feldman, MD, is an attending physician in the emergency and hyperbaric departments at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. She previously used Epic at Kaiser Permanente, Redwood City, and Stanford Hospital and continues to use it now at Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills.
You have several years of experience using Epic. What do you like best about the system? I like having the ability to easily access and import information into your notes like past medical history, medications, radiology reports, labs, and past visits. I like being able to use order sets, easily see lab results, and add them to my notes.
Do you miss using Epic since we don't have it yet here at UCLA? I don't miss it because I am still able to use it regularly when I am working at Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills. However, because of the fact that I know how to use Epic, it can be frustrating to use existing systems such as MEDHOST and CView.
How do you expect CareConnect will be better than the systems in place here at UCLA? MEDHOST and CView do not interface well. There is no place to easily find a person's problem list (medical history), current medications, vaccination history, etc. You often have to read multiple notes.
What can we do to make sure we're ready? I was able to receive extensive training on Epic at all three of the hospitals where I worked previously. I found it particularly helpful to include an emergency medicine physician as a trainer in the emergency department. All the hospitals implemented the system differently, and all implemented the components over time. For example, recently the emergency physicians started coding at Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills. However, there is a learning curve and having medical students and residents does make implementation harder and the work slower because of the constant turnover.
What do you think will be the most challenging part of implementing CareConnect? Having enough computers and being able to work fast enough to keep up in a busy emergency department.
What advice would you give to your colleagues here at UCLA about CareConnect? Epic is a great system. Once it is populated with the patient's information and you know how to use it, you can obtain information about your patient fast -- easily order studies, see radiology images and laboratory results, and document where a patient should go after receiving treatment without having to access multiple programs.