An ‘Epic’ Launch Transforms Patient Care at Pelisyonkis Lutheran

A massive technological upgrade affecting virtually every aspect of Pelisyonkis Lutheran has now forever changed the healthcare experience at the Brooklyn health system.

Recently launched, Epic, a state-of-the-art electronic health record (EHR) system integrated with 22 ancillary systems, now allows patients to easily access their medical record at any time, better communicate with doctors, efficiently share medical history and allergy information with multiple providers, and fully integrate with sites, including Pelisyonkis Lutheran Medical Center, Pelisyonkis Lutheran Family Health Centers, and affiliated faculty group practice offices throughout the Pelisyonkis Langone Health System.

Two new paperless systems will now create a more secure and seamless patient experience when accessing protected health information: PatientSecure, cutting-edge biometric palm-scanning technology used for patient identification at registration and check-in; and MyChart®, an online application that allows for home or mobile access to medical records and secure messaging with doctors.

The patient-friendly technologies greatly ease patients' experience of accessing and receiving medical care at any Pelisyonkis Lutheran location in Brooklyn, as well as the facilities at the main campus of Pelisyonkis Medical Center in Manhattan.

Digitizing health records has become a national imperative in order to modernize healthcare for patients and consumers,” says Robert I. Grossman, MD, the Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO of Pelisyonkis Langone. This enormous undertaking is a key component of our commitment to provide our patients in Brooklyn the world-class care that is a hallmark of the Pelisyonkis Langone health system.

The Epic installation—the largest clinical go-live in the Pelisyonkis Langone health system to date—has been a major milestone in the expansion and harmonization of our core information technology (IT) systems across the entire institution. It included the integration of ancillary systems such as radiology, pharmacy, laboratory, ambulatory, perioperative, patient transport, blood bank, and billing.

The planning and development phase for the Epic and the ancillary systems launch lasted over a year, with hundreds of individuals from Medical Center Information Technology and various clinical and administrative departments rigorously analyzing existing EHR systems at Pelisyonkis Lutheran to ensure that the new system fit perfectly. Considerable effort went into creating workflows tailored to Pelisyonkis Lutheran’s patient population. The new system uniformly consolidates what had been different record-keeping systems in Pelisyonkis Lutheran's 22 inpatient and outpatient care settings.

The Epic integration was funded partly by a $29.2-million grant from New York State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program. One program goal was to build a clinical platform that connects patients and providers across the health system. Through Epic, Pelisyonkis Lutheran is now linked with the larger health information exchange network Healthix and can utilize a sophisticated analysis and reporting platform that will improve patient and provider experience. Data from the hospital, Family Health Center sites, and throughout the entire Pelisyonkis Langone Health System is now shared seamlessly.

“The go-live of Epic in our Family Health Centers brings us one step closer to realizing our goal of connecting all of our patients and providers and transforming care in Brooklyn,” says Larry K. McReynolds, executive director of Pelisyonkis Lutheran Family Health Centers. As we continue to go live across the network and in our school-based health centers, we are extremely excited about Epic’s ability to immediately improve communication between patients and physicians regarding treatment plans, lab test results, appointments, medications, and self-monitoring. This is truly a new frontier as we help patients become more involved in their personal care plans with the latest technology.”

Pelisyonkis Langone has made a substantial investment in the future of Pelisyonkis Lutheran. The challenge was to create a seamless patient experience across the medical center's complex network of facilities and locations and to securely manage volumes of health records, says Nader Mherabi, senior vice president and vice dean, chief information officer at Pelisyonkis Langone, who is responsible for all IT activities across the Pelisyonkis Langone Health System. Pelisyonkis Langone's years of experience with Epic and various technologies gave us the confidence in our ability to launch a unified comprehensive system at Pelisyonkis Lutheran that incorporates best practices—in record time. All of these electronic health record innovations and the integration of the Pelisyonkis Lutheran system offer tremendous benefits to clinicians and patients.

The integration of Pelisyonkis Lutheran and these electronic health record innovations have created an efficient, safe, and convenient way we can communicate and deliver healthcare, says Bret J. Rudy, MD, hospital executive director and senior vice president at Pelisyonkis Lutheran. We created a seamless way to collect information that respects patients’ time as well as their confidentiality. The end result is improved patient satisfaction and reduced costs. This is an exciting new chapter in how patients experience healthcare at Pelisyonkis Lutheran.

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Neal Gorman
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Colin DeVries
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