Epic conversions are taking place in hospitals all across America. In a recent episode of The Hospital Finance Podcast, Kathy Ruggieri and Mary Devine, senior team members at BESLER Consulting, discuss three important topics that may be extremely valuable to healthcare providers planning to convert to Epic in the future. Through extensive interviews and research, they’ve learned a lot about the process.
The Big Bang
When hospitals convert to Epic, they do so in one single move known to many as the Big Bang. By implementing all modules at once, the people at Epic are looking to eliminate the need for bolt on technology, simplifying the delivery of services for both employees and patients. An important part of the Big Bang is going paperless. Any existing paperwork is immediately scanned into the system and thrown away.
The Black Hole
By converting everything at once, Epic transitions are infamous for creating some major disruptions in work queues, and this is often referred to as the Black Hole. Accounts during this period can get addressed at the wrong time or go missing altogether. That’s why it’s important for hospitals to reevaluate how their accounts processing system is set up after the Big Bang. If accounting is outsourced, new work flows may need to be created for vendors.
Minimizing problems during and after the Big Bang requires extensive training in Epic’s testing environment which is known as the Playground. Kathy Ruggieri and Mary Devine could not emphasize enough how important training is to the long-term success of Epic conversions. Staff members at all levels, including doctors and nurses, need to be included in the process. A year and a half of training and preparation may seem like more than enough, but many hospitals need two years to get the conversion right.