May 17, 2018

New Electronic Medical Records Software Coming

Faith Regional Health Services announced today that they will be implementing a new Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system, Epic, for patients and providers at Faith Regional.

For years, hospitals have used different systems in various departments and integrated the data using various techniques.  While this method works, connecting records in this manner is complex and requires additional work and time.

Implementation of Epic will enable Faith Regional to enhance the patient experience and instantaneously share information with a myriad of medical providers across the nation. Whether it be a patient whose primary physician is in Norfolk and is seeing a transplant specialist at Nebraska Medicine or a family member who is in town visiting from California and unexpectedly needs to make a visit to the Emergency Room at Faith Regional; Epic’s ability to immediately transfer records between facilities who share the system creates a seamless continuum of care for those patients. 

In addition to the benefits of timely delivery of information for providers, patients will also experience delivery of their health information and other features through the MyChart app allowing them to be more engaged and informed about their health.  Through the smartphone app, patients can access their Epic records, make an appointment, receive test results, order prescription refills and even message their physician’s office through a secure portal. 

Not only does this access provide convenience, other benefits include a simplified billing process and time savings for the patient as they won’t be asked the same questions multiple times at appointments as fewer registrations are necessary.

“This platform is the best in its class and will create a unified database accessible by members of the care team at their fingertips, increasing efficiencies and convenience for patients and providers,” states Brian Sterud, Chief Information Officer at Faith Regional Health Services.

There are various EMR platforms and approaches to bringing this type of software into healthcare organizations.  Technology has evolved to a cloud-based, offsite, approach which allows the system to be utilized anywhere regardless of the operating system. 

“Epic has a process by which an organization can acquire the software by purchasing through other installs,” states Mark Klosterman, President and CEO of Faith Regional Health Services.  “Faith Regional is purchasing Epic through Nebraska Medicine.  By acquiring the software in this manner, we are exercising one of our core values, stewardship, ensuring we get the best value while saving money and continuing to find ways to work with other organizations such as Nebraska Medicine to fulfill our long-term strategy and vision to remain a strong, independently owned, system with a healthy future.”

"Providing Faith Regional patients access to their medical records with a top-quality product like Epic is a win for everyone involved," said Dan DeBehnke, MD, MBA, CEO of Nebraska Medicine. "It's another example of how Faith Regional and Nebraska Medicine can collaborate to provide a better patient experience for the people of northeast and north central Nebraska, while still allowing them to receive care from the providers they know and trust.  We support Faith Regional and its position to remain a thriving, locally-owned, independent organization now and into the future.”

Over the next 18 months, with the Information Technology department leading the project, the entire Faith Regional organization will be deeply invested in Epic education, implementation and transitioning current systems to the new EMR to bring superior collaboration throughout the region, benefiting patients through an integrated approach to high-quality healthcare.