The most widely used in the nation, Epic is the “gold standard” of electronic health records
ASPEN, Colo. (October 4, 2022) — On October 1st, Aspen Valley Hospital took a major step forward in improving patients’ access to healthcare with the launch of its new Epic electronic health records (EHR) system. The Hospital has been working with Epic since 2020 to design an EHR that specifically meets the needs of the Aspen community. Patients and their providers will notice significant changes in the way care is managed, with improvements in patient-provider communications, better access to records, and a more complete picture of each patient’s healthcare profile.
Epic is the leading EHR in the United States, and more than 268 million people in the US and abroad have a record in Epic. It is used by major hospital systems, as well as academic institutions, specialty networks and an array of healthcare providers in a number of fields. The Epic system creates a single, unified health record for each patient so that doctors and other providers can have access to a comprehensive health profile of the person they are treating. Patients also have full access to their medical records through Epic’s MyChart patient portal.
With the launch, the Hospital becomes one of the smallest healthcare organizations in the nation to implement the Epic system as an independent organization. It will now utilize the same electronic platform as other major hospital networks in Denver and throughout the US and in 16 different countries, which facilitates better communications between providers and results in better outcomes for patients.
“The Hospital has been working with Epic to develop a system that works for our mix of providers and patients, whether they are locals who we see regularly or visitors who need our services while they are in town,” says Aspen Valley Hospital CEO Dave Ressler. “Our partnership with Epic will improve the patient experience by engaging patients in their own care. It improves patient safety because our providers will be able to get a full picture of each patient’s healthcare profile before treating them – past medical history, allergies, prescriptions and other important information. This allows our doctors and staff to make informed healthcare decisions about treatments and testing.”
MyChart Patient Portal Improves Access to Care
With MyChart, patients will see immediate improvements in both their immediate access to healthcare records and their interaction with providers. MyChart, which can be accessed on a computer or with an app on a smartphone, allows patients to view their complete medical record. They can schedule an appointment, refill prescriptions, access their provider’s notes and instructions, have follow-up questions answered with electronic messaging, meet with a doctor via a virtual telemedicine appointment, and review their test results. MyChart also provides proxy access for parents and caregivers to conveniently manage care for the entire family. Access to educational materials and videos are also available via MyChart to help patients make informed decisions about their care.
The Hospital is providing customer support to help patients make the transition, with staff available to answer questions about MyChart weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling 970-544-1556, or emailing questions to MyChart@aspenhospital.org.
One Patient Record Links Across Systems and Geographies
Epic’s system of creating a single record for each patient across healthcare systems has a dual benefit of freeing patients from having to compile their health records every time they see a new provider, while allowing providers from different departments, and healthcare systems across the country and internationally, to view the same chart for each patient, and work together to coordinate care for their shared patients. Being the largest and most-used electronic health records system in the country, Epic connects thousands of hospitals and providers who are part of the Epic Care Everywhere network, facilitating collaboration and better decision-making.
Having a person’s medical records all in one place is also important for patient safety. For instance, providers will be able to see what medicines a patient is already taking, and electronically prescribe drugs that are safe and appropriate for that particular patient’s needs. It also gives doctors and other providers instant access to tests and radiology imaging, allowing them to avoid duplicate testing and act more quickly to treat the patient.
It has taken over a year of building, training and due diligence to successfully launch Epic at Aspen Valley Hospital. The staff have been conducting drills to make sure the system is providing the services it was designed for.
“Full credit goes to the team at the Hospital who have worked with Epic and our providers to develop a system that works for our rural critical access hospital and our patients,” says Ressler. “We’re confident that patients and our providers will reap great benefits from being part of the largest and most sophisticated medical health records system in the country.”