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Tracing Patients’ Steps to Minimize COVID-19 Infections Within Hospitals

Clinicians use Epic’s infection control tools for contact tracing to know when to isolate hospitalized patients

Methods for clinicians to identify affected or exposed patients early are critical in slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Infection control tools, like automatic updates about test results and a history of who in the hospital a patient has interacted with, can help clinicians take the right precautions and isolate patients as quickly as possible.

For example, clinicians can see the patient’s testing status from anywhere in the chart. If a provider orders a test, the patient is shown as having a suspected case until the results are returned. If the test results come back with a positive result, the testing status is updated to a confirmed case.

When a patient has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, clinicians can see where in the hospital that patient has been, when that patient was there, and which clinicians and patients that patient might have interacted with. This tracking helps clinicians determine who else might have been exposed to COVID-19 and helps to prevent more spread  of the virus within the hospital.

Clinicians, managers, and staff can use a dashboard in Epic to see high-level information about COVID-19 cases within the hospital, including the number of suspected and confirmed cases, current ventilator utilization, and the average amount of time patients with COVID-19 spend in the hospital.

For the duration of the pandemic, Epic is offering COVID-19-related infection control features at no cost to organizations that aren’t using them yet. Organizations such as King’s Daughters Health System in Kentucky have been able to get these features up and running within 1-2 weeks to help their clinicians combat the pandemic.

Epic community members can read more about how they can use Epic’s infection control application to address cases of COVID-19 on the UserWeb and in the Managing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) With Epic white paper, which is updated regularly with recommended build and workflows.