There are many questions surrounding the recent outbreak of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Epic tools can help support your organization’s response.
Biocontainment experts, infectious disease physicians and researchers, and other clinicians are working with Epic to help healthcare organizations meet the challenges of this outbreak with confidence.
Epic community members can find detailed guidance in the Managing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) With Epic white paper on the UserWeb (UserWeb login required), which is being updated daily with new guidance related to COVID-19.
Here’s a quick summary of the Epic tools that can help your organization address COVID-19.
Share COVID-19 information between organizations with Epic’s interoperability network
To let providers at different organizations know about potential exposure risks, Epic community members can easily share travel screening documentation and infection status information with both Epic and non-Epic organizations through Care Everywhere, Epic’s interoperability network.
Identify and monitor sick patients before they come in
The CDC currently recommends that people with symptoms of COVID-19 stay home to avoid possibly spreading the virus to others. Patients can use e-visits, secure MyChart messages, or video visits to connect from home with clinicians, which helps prevent unnecessary visits and protect patients and clinic or hospital staff from infection.
With questionnaires in MyChart or Welcome, patients can also complete screening for COVID-19 before they leave their homes or interact with front desk staff.
Screen patients for travel to affected regions
While travel screening will likely become less useful as the virus spreads to more regions, it’s still important to screen all patients at check-in or admission for COVID-19 exposure. We updated our travel screen criteria for COVID-19 in January and will continue to update these criteria automatically as the CDC releases new guidelines.
Use advanced analytics to report on COVID-19 cases
We created out-of-the-box reports in the Epic Foundation System to track and follow up with patients who haven’t been screened for travel to regions where COVID-19 is spreading quickly. Organizations can also use reports to monitor the isolation status of confirmed or suspected cases, review and identify infection trends over time, and follow up with discharged patients.
With SlicerDicer, Epic’s self-service analytics tool, doctors and researchers can create and run their own reports to better understand how COVID-19 is affecting patients in their communities. For example, a physician can run a search to identify patients with a positive COVID-19 test result, map the data by ZIP code to discover any potential hot spots, and then send alerts to patients in those areas.
Collaborate across the Epic community
We’re currently working with clinicians and infection preventionists on our Travel and Communicable Disease Screening Advisory Board to update our tools as new information about COVID-19 becomes available.
Many organizations have already implemented initiatives to respond to COVID-19 cases in their areas. You can check out some of the tools your peers have created in the Community Library (UserWeb login required).
Epic community members can follow the latest updates on our COVID-19 response and connect with other organizations in the COVID-19 forum on the UserWeb.
Editor’s Note, 3/19/20: The Managing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) With Epic white paper is being updated every day, and there have been 49 updates made since it was published March 6, including new guidance about:
- Reporting on Capacity Management for COVID-19
- Reporting on Nursing Data and Patient Throughput for COVID-19
- Managing COVID-19 Patients at an Outpatient Pharmacy
- Creating a Training Plan for Staff
- Reporting on COVID-19 for Managers and Organization Leadership
Epic community members can access the white paper on the UserWeb (login required).