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Epic Outcomes

Faster Communication Between Specialists and Hospitalists with Epic

Geisinger Health System reduced turnaround time for specialty consults and questions from ten hours to two

With an “Ask-A-Doc” workflow in Epic, Geisinger Health System reduced unnecessary transfers and cut turnaround time for specialty consults and questions by eight hours, so that patients at Geisinger can get the care they need sooner.

When a hospitalist has a question that requires a specialist to answer, he orders an Ask-A-Doc consult, which sends a message in Epic to an on-call specialist.. The specialist can answer simple questions with messages to reduce trips. In cases where a consult visit is necessary, the specialist can reply to the hospitalist’s message to request any tests needed ahead of time. To further improve turnaround time, hospitalists and specialists receive a page when they have a new Ask-A-Doc message.

“The Ask-A-Doc program cuts down response wait times and improves reliability of communication, which allows physicians to better diagnose and treat patients,” said Dr. Eric Newman, vice chair for clinical innovations, division of medicine. “This ultimately leads to lower costs and better outcomes.”

Read more at Today’s Hospitalist.