BWH President Betsy Nabel participates in a recent Partners eCare test drive in the eCare information center with Adam Landman, chief medical informatics officer.

BWH President Betsy Nabel participates in a recent Partners eCare test drive in the eCare information center with (from left) Adam Landman, chief medical informatics officer, Allen Smith, BWPO president, and Sally Carlson, communication lead for Partners eCare at BWHC.

With the implementation of Partners eCare (PeC) just about two months away, staff understandably have questions about go-live and how BWHC will ensure a smooth transition during this monumental change. Shelly Anderson, vice president of Strategy Implementation, sat down with BWH Bulletin to tackle some of the most commonly asked questions about eCare.

I am scheduled for training in early April. Will I be trained on “the real” system?  What if I forget what I’ve learned by the time we go live?

Yes. You will be trained on the actual system that we will use beginning May 30. Once trained, staff will be able to practice in the Epic “playground,” a practice version of our build. You can log in at your convenience, practice skills and become more familiar with the system. The playground is accessible from Partners workstations, and you will receive information about logging in after you complete your training courses. In addition, we have developed “test drives” at the eCare Information Center by the Shapiro bridge so that you can get the experience of completing activities in the medical record using a typical scenario.

I have order sets and templates that I use every day.  Will I be able to import those into Epic?

Yes. In May, we will offer personalization labs, which include approximately two hours of focused attention on setting up Epic Smart Texts, Smart Sets and customizing the system to your preference. Our goal is to ensure that all staff can be as efficient and comfortable with the new system as quickly as possible. More information on signing up for a personalization lab will be provided soon.

What happens if I don’t pass the training competency test?

We will support every user and leave no one behind. The PeC training team will work with you on additional training as needed.

What will happen if I have questions or problems during go-live?

We have more than 400 application and content experts from PeC, Epic and BWHC, who will prioritize and solve issues as quickly as possible. A dedicated Help Desk will also collect tickets from super-users and individuals who are experiencing issues with the system, integration, workflow or other concerns. Additionally, BWHC has developed a plan to understand themes that are emerging in these issues and share important information with everyone on a consistent basis. We are completely committed to supporting problem-solving needs and resolving issues during go-live and in the weeks following.

What if there are patient safety issues?

We are working very closely with BWHC safety experts to learn from other institutions that have already implemented Epic. The experts will be working side-by-side with us to ensure we are all aware of any potential safety issues and that we can respond to these issues, should they arise, immediately and effectively.

Do we have enough workstations?

Yes. During our preparation, we worked with other hospitals that use Epic to get a sense of the needs. We will have plenty of workstations for staff to use during the course of treating patients. It is important that we use the workstations in exam rooms and patient rooms in addition to mobile workstations that we have added to supplement them.

What should I be telling my patients when we go live?

We are developing some materials to help with patient communication and will distribute these prior to go-live. There will also be service recovery directions in case there are situations in which we have delays, for example, and are unable to meet our usual service standards. What we have learned from other institutions is that patients have been very understanding during the transition period.

How will we know how the implementation is going overall?

Communications will be shared with the entire BWHC community through multiple channels to keep you informed about major issues, resolutions and the general status of implementation.

What happens after go-live?

For the first four weeks, our command center will support us in resolving any issues that arise. Then, we will begin to transition many of these requests to BWHC management.

What can I do to make sure I’m ready?

Attend training and practice afterward. If you are a super-user, be diligent about practicing so that you can provide the best possible support to your colleagues. Please implement workflow changes that you have been informed of in advance of go-live on May 30. Also, be patient and supportive of your colleagues as we all undergo significant changes in the way we do our daily work. Lastly, don’t give up! Every Epic client says that once you are through the initial hours and days, it will all be worth it and you will really like the new system.