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Three Hospitals in Australia Launch Epic in the Midst of the Pandemic

A coordinated approach made go-live successful

The Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Royal Women’s Hospital, and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre are located in Parkville, one of Australia’s premier biomedical precincts, and have been at the center of Australia’s COVID-19 response for months. In August, all three hospitals launched Epic, transitioning approximately 14,000 staff to the new system while dealing with the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.

The go-live was originally scheduled for May 2020. As the COVID-19 situation evolved across Australia, the three health services, in consultation with Epic, their clinicians, and government, made the decision to postpone. This decision made it possible for health services to ensure robust COVID-19 response plans were in place and any future go-live could withstand the pressures of the pandemic.

Parkville EMR Executive Director—and now Royal Melbourne Hospital Chief Operating Officer—Jackie McLeod said all the health services appreciated that the sooner Epic went live in Parkville, the easier it would be to provide care in the changed environment.

“It took an incredible amount of planning, courage, and determination, but the three Parkville health services really rose to the challenge to ensure a smooth transition to Epic,” Jackie said.

Epic worked with the health services to redesign the training and go-live support models, reducing classroom sizes and moving learning online. The go-live support model was re-evaluated, and virtual support teams were created to complement on-the-ground support.

“The work the three Parkville precinct hospitals did to prepare for going live during a pandemic was extraordinary,” said Mallory Heinzeroth, the lead for Epic’s Australia-based team. “They were ready for this moment and achieved an incredible result.”

Read more about the go-live from Pulse IT.