Rush Makes Identifying Depression a Part of Primary Care with Epic Technology

Screening questions in Epic help clinicians offer treatment to patients with depression

Despite being treatable, depression is surrounded by stigma and misconceptions, and fewer than 50% of people with depression seek treatment. The price of untreated depression is high: each year, depression diminishes quality of life for the millions who experience it, contributes to one of the leading causes of preventable death, and costs about $50 billion due to loss of work time. That’s why Rush University Medical Center made depression screening a standard part of primary care workflows in their Lakeview clinic.

Incorporating depression screening questions into clinicians’ standard workflows in Epic helps to not only identify depressed patients, but also to start a conversation about treatment options and set a treatment plan in motion. If a patient’s answers suggest symptoms of depression, decision support in Epic alerts their primary care provider to engage in a more in-depth conversation. Clinicians at Rush believe that identifying patients with depression and opening up these conversations is the first step in making sure that patients get the care and support they need.

In 2017, all Rush primary care clinics will screen for depression. Read more here.