How do we get our patient information into Epic?
There are three types of patient data that need to be in Epic for a practice to have a smooth go-live: patient demographic data, patient appointments and key clinical data from past encounters.
- Demographic data: If a practice can provide an Excel file of patient demographic information, we can transfer it into Epic. This gives the practice a base of patient information.
- Patient appointments: We train the practice staff to manually enter all existing appointments into Epic. Since this occurs in advance of go-live, this activity actually helps the staff become more familiar with the use of Epic and creates confident users at go-live.
- Clinical data: There is no need to convert all clinical data for every patient to Epic in advance of go-live. We find it works well to use upcoming appointments to prioritize patient data conversions. We recommend that the staff enters the patient’s medication, allergies and problem list into Epic. If desired, they also can scan the most recent progress note, lab or radiology results. For offices that were using another EMR, they can keep all their patient data on a separate server in their office, so they can access the archives at any time.
Do we have to buy new computers?
Hardware requirements for Epic are minimal. Most practices already have what they need and additional purchases are minimal. This is determined by a hardware and software assessment performed by the practice vendor. We provide the required specifications.
How do office staff typically react to Epic?
This transition is not to be taken lightly. It requires an investment of staff time to learn the technology and the electronic hand-offs. Most staff members are very receptive to Epic and the transition process. There may be some anxiety at first, but after completing their e-learnings and on-site training, staff often become comfortable with the EMR and appreciate how it makes their jobs easier and enhances patient care.