An Epic Undertaking

WUSM and BJC are now using Epic, a widely adopted healthcare software suite that manages electronic medical records (EMR), scheduling, and a number of other functions to document, manage and enhance patient care. WashU IT worked with BJC and WUSM on the launch of the software system earlier this summer. Troy Burrus, Executive Director of Clinical Information Services and Co-Director of Health Information Partners (HIP) said, “BJC and WashU collaborate frequently on clinical, operational, and IT initiatives. However, the formality and depth of coordination required for this implementation was at a scale not previously required for an implementation.  As an example, a new, jointly governed organizational entity, Health Information Partners (HIP), was created to implement Epic and will remain to support it.” The success of the project was, according to Burrus, “the outcome of years of collaboration among WU/BJC IT and the institutions’ clinical and financial operational partners”. Clay Mark, WashU IT’s project manager for the rollout, praised the collaborative­ effort as a “unique moment when WashU and BJC overcame ‘silo-ization’.”

The deployment of Epic at WUSM and BJC was a huge project that involved the coordination of all clinical departments and many centralized services. The software was deployed on approximately 10,000 computers. According to Mark, “this is the largest single Epic deployment when the service is hosted in the Citrix system.”

Although the Epic system is live, the project isn’t over. “We have quite a few enhancements that are still coming,” Mark said. Because Epic is the industry standard, it is compatible with a wide range of integrations. Burrus stated, “we are still stabilizing from the implementation, but prioritization and execution of new interfaces and functionality will soon be a top priority”. Mark believes that WashU IT’s ability to work across silos will continue to be critical for supporting and further developing the Epic system. “Our (WashU’s) relationship with BJC is stronger today because of undertaking this massive project together.”

You can learn more about the project here.