The U.S. is currently facing its worst measles outbreak in 25 years. The highly contagious virus can cause blindness, deafness, brain damage, and death. To help combat and contain measles, hospitals across the country are using Epic to identify and reach out to at-risk patients.
New York’s Mount Sinai Health System treats patients from Rockland County and Brooklyn, where the outbreak is prevalent. Mount Sinai uses Epic to notify doctors and nurses when a patient lives in an outbreak area, based on the patient’s ZIP Code. Clinicians are also prompted to have conversations with the patient’s friends and family about their risk of measles.
Sutter Health in California, where there have been 45 measles cases so far, uses a questionnaire in MyChart to identify patients who are at risk for measles when they book their appointments online. People with measles often seek treatment for symptoms such as a cough, runny nose, or fever before they develop the tell-tale rash, said Dr. Jeffrey Silvers, Sutter Health’s medical director of infectious diseases. The screening program aims to identify early whether a patient has measles so staff can take precautions to protect themselves and other patients.
Read more from Reuters.
Members of the Epic community can refer to the Caring for Patients Who Are at Risk for Measles guide to learn more about recommended strategies for using Epic to combat the measles outbreak.