On the morning of May 30, shortly after 5 a.m., the switch was officially “flipped,” and teams in many patient care and administrative areas began documenting in Partners eCare for the very first time. Just two days later on June 1, BWHC’s ambulatory clinics and outpatient departments started their day with the brand new system.

“It was really a remarkable event when we brought the system live at 5:11 a.m.,” said Ron M. Walls, MD, BWHC executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Everyone in the Command Center applauded as we surged forward into this new era.”

On the long-awaited weekend, the hospitals were abuzz with excitement and anticipation. Clinicians huddled together around computers and workstations sharing their knowledge and asking questions. Super-users provided, and continue to provide, “at-the-elbow” support. The Command Center established at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) was a hub of activity, with hundreds of people monitoring the launch and providing assistance around the clock.

“The support has been great,” said Christopher MacIver, administrative director of General Surgical Specialties. “Super-users were here bright and early, jumping in and sitting down with some of the physicians before they started clinic and helping administrative staff. People have been really good about sharing their best practices, experience and tips.”

The single go-live for BWHC—which includes BWH and BWFH, two ambulatory care centers and more than 160 ambulatory practices—is the largest in Epic’s history. After two-and-a-half years of rigorous planning, drills, analysis and practice on the part of more than 13,000 employees, Partners eCare is finally here.

“This is a monumental milestone in the history of BWH, BWFH, Partners and DFCI,” said BWHC President Betsy Nabel, MD. “From training to troubleshooting to taking on new roles as Partners eCare leaders, you have ensured that we are prepared. We are incredibly proud of your dedication, coordination, ingenuity and patience.”

The roll-out has gone smoothly so far, with some expected challenges, such as user access and issues with label and wristband printing. There were also issues with radiology orders, results and scheduling in both ambulatory and inpatient areas and delays in transcription. Focused Partners eCare teams have been working on these issues and have resolved a significant number. Following go-live, new tip sheets were also created to address specific issues.  Staff should refer to the daily Epic update emails for more information on the status of these issues.

Since go-live, the Service Desk has logged more than 10,000 tickets for BWHC and has already closed about half. The Service Desk team will continue working 24/7 to resolve issues as quickly as possible.

“It’s very exciting to see this organization come together to problem-solve, support each other and work together,” said Shelly Anderson, vice president of Strategy Implementation. “Partners eCare will create the foundation and the ability for us to integrate clinically not only within the Brigham but across Partners and our broader network as well.”

BWH Human Resources and executive assistants have been offering a variety of activities to help relieve the stress of go-live—from traveling carts of goodies and an ice cream social to chair massages and expanded food options, including local food trucks. A full schedule of events for the BWH main campus can be found at BWHPikeNotes.org.

“The Brigham is already a great place,” said Float Pool nurse Nadia Raymond, RN. “This is going to make it even better.”

Added Susan Langill, RD, LDN, Food Services director: “When the first diet order came across the new system at BWH, Food Services supervisor Roxanne Noseworthy was so excited she said, ‘I’ve been waiting 16 years for this!’”

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