And We’re Off...

And We're Off....
Denton Arledge
Vice President & Chief Information Officer
June 12, 2013

We officially launched our EPIC implementation project earlier this year, and things are progressing really well. As you may know, we're starting first with our WakeMed Physician Practices groups - otherwise known as the "Ambulatory" implementation which is expected to be complete by June 2014.  We're just one year away from this major milestone and I am pleased to say we are well on our way. For this implementation, we expect to go-live at all of our WakeMed Physician Practice (clinic) locations, which includes Wake Orthopaedics office locations throughout the region. In all, we have there's approximately 40 sites that will go live, which we expect to set the stage for a successful inpatient implementation at all of our hospital and outpatient sites by 2015.  We'll be there before you know it.

Employee Involvement
So far, we've done a lot of work in a short period of time. The Epic team started in April by making site visits - meeting our staff and learning our processes. In addition, the WakeMed IS team started their Epic training in March and April.  Following the site visits, teams have met with teams throughout the WakeMed Physician Practices network during their "validation" phase.  "Validation" is Epic's term for discussing what our processes will look like once Epic is implemented to make sure we're all comfortable with the plan moving forward.  Key players in each area have spent the past few weeks discussing these processes and voting to get everyone on the same page as we move one step closer to implementation.  The Epic group is now working on a second round of validation sessions for additional areas within the WPP area.  

Physician Involvement
Several of us from the IT organization and Epic participated in the Full Medical Staff meeting a few weeks ago with hundreds of our physicians in attendance, demonstrating their interest and engagement in moving toward a single-record electronic system. We were pleased with the number of doctors who expressed interest in participating in this important process and appreciate the commitment of our Medical Staffs. This implementation can't be successful without the involvement of both physicians and staff.  Physicians are encouraged to be a part of this process by joining our "Physicians Virtual Feedback Team."

Thoughts From Epic
Our Epic implementation manager sent me a note following our first week of validation, and his thoughts made me proud and encouraged me that while this journey to Epic won't be easy, we have the right teams in place to make it successful.

Epic Project Lead Jesse Lauchner says:

"With your first ever week of Epic Validation behind us, I wanted to reflect and give you my thoughts on how it went. I was impressed and encouraged by the result, this would rank very high on my scale of desired outcomes in week 1.  I attended sessions all day this week and got a wide look. Rooms were packed to capacity, and appeared to cover a wide range of interests across WakeMed. Quality of attendees is just as important, and I observed your folks engaged the entire time and asking really good, thoughtful questions.  I even saw a decent number of people taking notes by their own will.  Epic can't do this without the expertise of your people, so this was an important positive."

Thank you to everyone for your involvement in this important process.  With all of your help, this is truly going to be EPIC.