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Valley Children’s Healthcare Goes Live Virtually During a Pandemic

Remote support was critical to a successful Epic go-live

Hospitals around the country are innovating in the face of COVID-19, and that spirit of innovation extends to go-lives, too. Valley Children’s Healthcare in Madera, California, used virtual at-the-elbow support to help them go live with a new EHR during the pandemic.

“As the COVID-19 situation evolved, we understood the potential for our go-live to be delayed, but we knew that moving from seven EHRs to a single integrated chart would improve patient care,” said Dr. Joel Brownell, Valley Children’s CMIO. “We were able to move forward by pivoting to virtual support.”

To shift from an in-person go-live to a virtual one, Valley Children’s provided on-demand remote access to super users—clinicians with additional system training who support their peers during a go-live.

“Our super users were very valuable,” Dr. Brownell said. “Normally, clinicians find a super user on the floor when they need at-the-elbow help. With on-demand virtual support, they were able to connect with a super user even faster.”

To make virtual support efficient and easy, users could video chat and share their screens with super users or command center staff. Epic and Valley Children’s partnered to coordinate two command centers, one in California and one in Wisconsin, to provide remote support and help users stay connected with video conferences and secure messaging.

“The greatest innovation comes when there’s a change that is so disruptive, you have to engage it—COVID-19 was that for us,” said Denise Zeitler,  Executive Director of Clinical Informatics and Organizational Project Management Office at Valley Children’s during the go-live. “Our patients, families, and end users are all going to benefit from what we’ve collaboratively accomplished at a really difficult time.”

Epic community members can learn more about preparing for remote training and support in the Managing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) With Epic white paper, which is updated regularly with new build and workflows.