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Stories & Snapshots

Why We Do What We Do: Nursing and Whole-Person Care

Epic’s Emily Barey shares the importance of connecting health and social care

During Emily Barey’s 17-year career at Epic, she’s been a vocal advocate for nurses, earning her the unofficial title of “nurse evangelist.” She began her career as a nurse at Yale New Haven Health System, where she learned about the power of data during a project to analyze readmission rates.

“I saw firsthand how the information that we tracked as nurses was so important,” said Emily. “It got rid of the guesswork. We were able to use the combined data to change the way we did things and improve patient care.”

Emily saw an opportunity to use technology to develop proven standards of care, so she decided to work for Epic and help nurses around the world. Today, she focuses on the integration between healthcare and social care.

“Social care is designed to look at factors outside of the hospital that impact patients, like access to transportation and healthy food,” said Emily. “For nurses, that makes sense. We already care for the whole person and assess things like activities of daily living and how a person lives with their illness. Social care is the natural next step.”

Emily’s personal experiences with the healthcare system and home care also inform her work. Her daughter was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and her elderly father needs in-home care services.

“I’m able to take time off of work to care for my family and afford prescription copays and other resources they need,” said Emily. “But that’s not true for so many people in this situation. To reduce cost and improve quality, we need to meet patients where they are and help them outside the walls of the hospital.”

Learn more from Becker’s about how one organization is using Epic to integrate health care and social care in Finland. Epic community members can read more about tools for social care within Epic.

“Why We Do What We Do” is a series of stories from Epic staff about how their work relates to their personal missions to help our community members serve their patients and transform healthcare delivery.

Photo: Emily Barey with her father, Joe Barey, who is living with dementia and requires home care services.