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Clinics Use Epic Data to Determine When It’s Safe to Reopen

Hattiesburg Clinic relies on data to help determine which patients can safely visit their doctor in person

Across the country, health systems have delayed office visits or transitioned to telehealth due to COVID-19, and safety is a top concern as they decide when to resume in-person visits and elective surgeries. Using data in Epic about each patient’s COVID-19 risk and care needs, Hattiesburg Clinic in Mississippi created a multi-phased plan to reopen clinics.

Hattiesburg Clinic plans to schedule in-person visits and elective surgeries for patients who are at the lowest risk for serious complications from COVID-19 first. Factors in each patient’s Epic chart, such as age, chronic diseases, and past hospital stays, are used to calculate a risk score represented by green, yellow, and red categories.

Schedulers see each patient’s risk of complications from COVID-19 and use this data to reach out to low-risk patients who are good candidates for the first phase of in-person care. Physicians can also see the score and the factors that contribute to a patient’s risk in the chart.

Hattiesburg Clinic plans to gradually increase elective surgeries and in-person visits for routine care while continuing to offer patients the option of video visits. Hattiesburg Clinic will follow state and local guidelines to start scheduling in-person care for higher-risk patients when it is safe to do so.

“We’re using data to make educated decisions and open our clinics as safely as we can,” said Dr. Bryan Batson, CMIO of Hattiesburg Clinic. “Our recovery strategy hinges heavily on using robust data to help us make the best decisions possible.”

Epic community members can read more about using risk scores to create a strategy for safely resuming in-person visits on the UserWeb and in the Managing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) With Epic white paper, which is updated regularly with recommended build and workflows.