New Epic enhancements. Seamless patient care.

Earlier this month, we celebrated five years since HM launched Epic. Since then, we’ve continued to improve Epic by adding several specialty-specific modules. More specialty areas in Epic helps to provide our patients with a more seamless experience, while helping clinical collaboration systemwide.

In March, we added two new areas to Epic — rehabilitation and wound care.

Continuity of care. Important for patients. Important to us.

Our patients see different HM providers and specialists — they have planned and unplanned hospital visits. For better care and outcomes, it’s important that providers have quick and easy access to all of their patient’s health care records. This access also helps to reduce unnecessary or duplicate procedures.

Although Epic documents a patient’s overall health care, it’s important to include more specialized areas. This added information makes it easier for our patients when they visit different HM providers or are hospitalized. Now, with wound care and rehab as part of Epic, patient care teams can easily see patient therapy and wound care information, allowing for better collaboration among providers/clinicians.

“Both of these new modules allow a more cohesive way to communicate a patient’s plan of care to all of the patient’s care team, supporting better healing and restoration for our patients,” said Dr. Nicholas Desai, chief medical information officer.

Epic rehab. Helping clinicians focus on care.

The Epic rehab module launched for inpatients in September and outpatients earlier this month, streamlining documentation, reporting and billing into Epic and making workflows easier.

“Epic allows us to have outpatient rehab in one platform for scheduling and documentation,” said Alex Blalock, DPT, MBA, HMCL director of rehabilitation services. “This not only simplifies our internal rehab workflow but also streamlines operations across our organization. Now, we’re utilizing one application for documentation, allowing us to provide better and more efficient patient care.”

With the new rehab module, patients can do things like message rehab providers and schedule appointments via MyChart, and providers get easier access to patient records and fewer time-consuming manual processes — giving them more time to focus on their patients.

“Better Epic accessibility helps our physicians communicate and collaborate with therapists more effectively and efficiently,” said Gail Hannahs, OTR, CHT, HMWB director of outpatient rehab service. “Ultimately, this paves the way to providing better, patient-focused care and gives our patients the outstanding patient experience that we pride ourselves on.”

Epic wound care. Easier access means more quality time with patients.

When Epic wound care launched for inpatients and outpatients this month, it began facilitating better continuity of care through enhanced wound care documentation and streamlined workflows. Before, outpatient wound care documentation was on a different system, and clinicians had to transcribe it into Epic. This time-consuming process made it difficult for inpatient providers to quickly see a patient’s outpatient wound care treatment information.

Now, clinicians systemwide can quickly see patients’ full health care pictures — improving treatment and outcomes.

“Now that we’re operating on one platform, patients don’t have to fill out paperwork and re-report information they’ve already communicated to other HM providers, and nurses no longer have to take time out of the patient’s visit to enter all of this data,” said April Sooknanan, system director for wound care services. “They just verify the information that’s already in Epic. This saves time and allows clinicians to spend more time with their patients.”

“Our patients have a lot to tell and don’t always give us all their information,” she said.

“Many have comorbidities that impact wound healing, so if we’re only getting part of that information and not seeing the full picture, whether it’s an outpatient visit or hospital admit, it’s hard to give the best treatment plan. With Epic wound care, both inpatient and outpatient are now equipped to see the full picture and drive better patient outcomes.”

Epic enhancements. Supporting our future.

Through Epic integrations like the rehab and wound care modules, we continue to improve processes that support an exceptional, seamless patient experience. For providers, this means complete accessibility to their patients’ medical histories, so they can make the most informed care decisions.  

“Can you imagine how great this will be for our future generation patients, those who are born at a Houston Methodist hospital and who continue their health care journey through our system?” Sooknanan said. “Providers will have a patient’s complete history, across all of our areas and levels of care, equipping them to provide the best care possible.”