Using Epic to Optimize Patients’ Surgical Outcomes

Helping patients get healthier before surgery leads to smoother recovery


Many of the guardrails that help keep patients healthy after surgery don’t happen on the operating table, but in the clinic and at home before and after surgery. To better prepare patients for surgery, UPMC Pinnacle in Harrisburg, PA created an optimization clinic for its high-risk patients.

Clinicians at Pinnacle refer patients with certain risk factors documented in Epic—such as diabetes or frailty—to this clinic to undergo further testing, receive treatment for existing conditions, and learn how to manage their health before and after surgery. In the pilot year of the program, Pinnacle saw some outstanding results. Compared with all surgical patients with comorbidities at Pinnacle, high-risk patients who visited the optimization clinic experienced these outcomes:

  • Post-op complications decreased by 87.1%
  • Mortality dropped to 0
  • Average length of stay decreased by 49%
  • 30-day readmission rates decreased by 22.2%
  • Same-day surgery cancellations dropped to 0%

Learn more about the optimization clinic here.