An Epic Transition to a New Electronic Health Record System

ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS (EHR) are digital versions of patient charts. They give real-time information on everything from medical history and diagnoses, to allergies, medications, and lab results. Research shows that enabling quick access to complete, up-to-date patient information supports more coordinated, efficient care that improves health outcomes. However, AFC’s EHR was implemented 10 years ago and no longer provides the level of support needed to deliver quality, coordinated care.

After taking a year to carefully weigh our options, AFC is pleased to announce plans to convert to a new EHR called Epic, which our closest partner, Virginial Hospital Center (VHC), adopted in 2018. I’d like to extend an enormous thank you to VHC for offering to bring us onto its Epic account at no cost to AFC, and to provide both training and tech support to ensure our successful conversion!

An Epic Transition to a New Electronic Health Record System Since we partner so closely with VHC, being on the same EHR will prove invaluable. Sharing of healthcare information between medical providers is an essential component of good care. However, a transition of this magnitude will come with challenges. Some, such as preparing and mapping our data, are to be expected as with any EHR conversion. Others are unique to Epic, including the considerable training requirements placed on all system users—a condition that will be a unique challenge with AFC’s volunteer model. We are working closely with our VHC colleagues to develop creative strategies—involving technology and the training of scribes to assist our volunteer physicians in using the new system.

We expect to go “live” with Epic in the first half of 2020. Stay tuned for updates on how the new EHR will positively impact patient care and our ability to analyze data—something critical to program evaluation and improvement. And to all our volunteers, thank you for your patience and commitment throughout the coming transition.

Nancy White

Read our entire 2019 Annual Report here.

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Board Chair’s Letter