Autumn is my favorite season, which is saying a lot when each season in the Rockies is amazing for its own reasons. But there is something uniquely special about the look and feel of autumn, when the leaves turn and a crispness fills the air. Perhaps it is the fact that autumn announces the pending arrival of fall and then the holiday and ski season. On those days when the leaves are turned and the sky is blue, the rays of the sun illuminate the brilliant yellow foliage on the trees and on the ground, as if that burst of color is intended to raise our spirits as we look forward to what lies ahead.
It is fitting, therefore, that Aspen Valley Hospital had our own passage, like the turn of the seasons, this past Saturday, when we went live with our new Epic electronic health record at 4:45 in the morning. That morning, the clouds hung low over the mountains, and the full splendor of autumn emerged as the rising sun broke through, just like what was happening at AVH at the exact same time. Our staff and physicians in the Hospital, and at our clinics, were seeing the power of the world’s gold standard electronic medical record that has taken months and countless hours of building, testing and training to implement. Truly, Epic is transformational for us, as is the autumn season, as we raise our already extraordinary care to the highest level of safety and patient empowerment.
An electronic health record is much more than an electronically stored document. It is a living document and a means of communication to assure that information gets to wherever it is needed most, real-time. It also provides tools to support evidence-based best practices, decision support and warnings if its artificial intelligence spots something amiss. MyChart, the patient portal piece of the Epic platform, puts the power of your own information at your fingertips, and empowers you to take an active and informed role in achieving optimal health. And Epic will also simplify workflows for our staff and physicians, eliminate redundancy, and build efficiencies throughout our system, from scheduling to office visits to tests and procedures, to hospitalizations. To that end, it is also a recruitment tool, to be among the best hospitals in the country with this technology.
I hope you enjoy this issue of our newsletter, packed as always with information about your community hospital and Network of Care, and health tips, including news of our upcoming health fair, November 10-13 in Aspen and Basalt. And I hope the changing of seasons and the brilliant colors inspire a sense of renewal in you, as Epic has in us.