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Boulder Community Health Uses Epic to Connect With Health System Partners, Patients During a Pandemic

CIO Michael Jefferies: 'When these things hit, you really need to work together'

Boulder Community Health is using Epic to stay connected to other health systems and to patients. Boulder’s vice president and CIO, Michael Jefferies, said that this collaboration is key to fighting COVID-19.

“As this pandemic struck, one of the things we were really excited about was Epic’s new community resource dashboard,” Jefferies said. “The dashboard shows the beds and ventilators available at nearby health systems. Within a matter of days, we got a commitment from every single facility in Colorado using Epic to provide data.”

Using the dashboard, Boulder Community Health and nearby health systems are able to plan together for a potential surge of patients. For example, when respiratory therapists document that they’re placing a patient on a ventilator, the number of available ventilators is updated automatically on the dashboard so clinicians can monitor utilization in real time and reach out to neighboring organizations if they’re running low.

Boulder Community Health is also using MyChart Bedside to help hospitalized patients with COVID-19 stay connected while they’re in isolation.

“One situation we had was absolutely heart-wrenching, and we had to find a creative way to address it,” Jefferies said. “A new mom came in to give birth while she was potentially positive for COVID-19, and we had to be really cautious about interaction with the baby. We gave the mom and the NICU nurse each a tablet with MyChart Bedside. We know it’s not the same as physical contact, but seeing her baby over video was incredibly comforting to the mother.”

Epic community members can learn more about sharing capacity data with peers and video visits on MyChart Bedside tablets in the Managing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with Epic white paper, which is updated regularly with recommended build and workflows.