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New to the ICU: Clinicians Step Out of Their Specialties to Support Patients With COVID-19

Hospitals are helping doctors and nurses from across the organization prepare to provide ICU care

At hospitals that are hit hard by COVID-19, primary care physicians, residents, and other clinicians have stepped up to support patients in intensive care units. Health systems are using simplified charting in Epic and providing training to help these clinicians get up to speed quickly.

At Montefiore Health System in New York, clinicians have a single-screen view in Epic to quickly assess a patient and document important information such as vitals and respiratory rate. Montefiore provided training videos and had IT staff on hand for extra support. Staff were also available from Montefiore’s “virtual command center” to answer questions around the clock.

“With a rapid increase in patients with COVID-19 and many of our front-line workers also ill, we needed to quickly reassign staff to the highest-need areas,” said Dr. Matthew Berger, medical director of IT at Montefiore. “We gave them rapid training and guidance in the system so they could move from outpatient settings to the ED and ICU.”

To guide outpatient physicians through an ICU shift, UC Health in Colorado created a guide that includes scenarios such as joining a patient’s care team and requesting a consult. From the guide, physicians can access short training videos. The videos are also uploaded to Epic’s weLearning portal on the UserWeb for other health systems to use.

“Our clinicians are doing an amazing job in the midst of this crisis,” said Dr. CT Lin, CMIO at UC Health. “We’re doing everything we can to provide them with resources.”

Epic community members can listen to a webinar from Dr. Berger on the UserWeb and download the materials we’ve developed to help you train your staff on workflows related to COVID-19 in the Managing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) With Epic white paper.