Scripps Health has decided to incorporate a new electronic health records (EHR) system into its organization. The EHR Scripps chose is Epic—a system that also integrates revenue cycle management (RCM) services with health records. Let’s take a look at why Scripps chose Epic, how it impacts professionals in phlebotomy, and guidance in familiarizing oneself with EHR systems.
The Epic Implementation and its Purpose
What makes Epic an attractive electronic health records and revenue cycle management system, is that it streamlines workflows for Scripps’s workforce and physicians while seamlessly integrating patient care. It is a vast system that combines many functions and increases information systems efficiency. The deal was announced in 2015. Epic was officially activated at Scripps Green Hospital, Scripps Clinic, Scripps Coastal Medical Center and Mercy Clinic in April of 2017. However, the system implementation is just being released in Scripps Encinitas, Scripps La Jolla and Scripps Mercy campuses in Chula Vista and San Diego, in 2018.
The purpose is simple. Scripps believes Epic will support improved patient care, clinical outcomes, and efficiency. With a single EHR that overshadows many functions, physicians will be able to make the most appropriate patient care decisions with up-to-date information.
Another benefit of the Epic EHR system is that it can securely exchange data with external groups using different EHRs. Many electronic health records are only compatible with same-system platforms, but Epic has conquered this hindrance. The RCM (revenue cycle management) aspect of the system is a strong point as well. Epic utilizes medical billing software which can track patient care details from early registration and appointment scheduling, to collecting the final payment of a due balance. Epic also deploys communication services with health insurance companies in order to calculate what is covered by insurance, as compared to billing the patient for remaining balances.
How it Impacts Physicians and Other Professionals
Scripps CMO, James LaBelle, said this of selecting Epic as an EHR system. “This system will touch every clinical process and every caregiver at Scripps. The new tools and functionality available on the Epic platform will allow our physicians, nurses, technicians and staff to work more efficiently and collaboratively to meet the needs of our patients. And it will allow patients to interact with caregivers in the timely management of their care.”
In terms of impacting physicians, nurses, phlebotomy technicians, and office staff, Epic will provide valuable health-information-technology assistance. Physicians will be able to readily access information about patient care from just about anywhere. Epic can be accessed in the hospital itself, or even remotely through an iPhone or Android app. Even Scripps’s office staff can access information. They must complete the necessary training and sign an agreement first.
Phlebotomists in particular can expect positive effects from the EHR implementation. Studies have shown that when an effective EHR and RCM system is introduced, overall patient satisfaction increases, wait and service time decreases, and preanalytical errors are reduced.
With the launching of Epic at Scripps, one thing is evident. Physicians, phlebotomy interns, and CPT 1 licensed phlebotomists will need to familiarize themselves with EHR systems. There are many ways to attain training to use Epic. First, one should take a Readiness Assessment Survey, in order to determine the correct required curriculum. Epic training is usually offered without expenses. Its three parts include eLearnings, classroom labs, and personalization labs. Participants of 2017’s Scripps training sessions reported satisfaction with the curriculum, and became knowledgeable in the EHR and RCM system in very little time. If you already know how to use Epic or other EHR systems, you will most likely still be required to pass a minimal training session to certify your proficiency.
PhlebotomyU Prepares You for A Career in Phlebotomy
Understanding how EHR and RCM systems like Epic operate can give you a leg up on the competition if you are an aspiring Phlebotomist. It is highly recommended to register for Epic’s free training courses. At PhlebotomyU, we work with students from start to finish in their phlebotomy education. We are fortunate to have partnerships with clinics and hospitals throughout San Diego County—including Scripps Health—to help set students up with Phlebotomist jobs after graduating. Some places that have hired our graduated students include Kaiser Permanente, Sharp, UC San Diego, the VA, Scripps, and Palomar. We hope this helps you decide if a career in phlebotomy is right for you.