Epic Community Connect can offer many advantages to healthcare organizations that are looking to leverage their investment by seeking technology affiliates, or that are still relying on paper. It is a cost-effective method for hospitals to address the challenges that face healthcare organizations today – high capital requirements for technology acquisition, demands for ever-increasing interoperability and regulatory compliance, as well as patient and market pressures – all while improving patient quality.
With over 20 years of experience in HIT, HCIs VP of Community Outreach Services Scott Jacobs shares three aspects of Epic Community Connect that make it beneficial to healthcare organizations.
1) Simplified Access to an EMR
When a healthcare facility is planning on acquiring a new EMR, there are several acquisitions that go hand-in-hand with the implementation process. They will need to acquire the infrastructure, the knowledge needed to implement the technology, and a plan for getting to the goal line, in addition to the laundry list of other factors that go into an EMR implementation implementation. While going from a paper record to an electronic one is something that has innumerable dividends that it can provide healthcare organizations, the process is neither simple nor inexpensive.
Healthcare facilities that go with Epic Community Connect, however, will not have anywhere near the same amount of potential issues that an organization implementing a new EMR on their own would. When organizations become part of community outreach programs, they become part of a network, a customer of the “host”, who already has all of the required ingredients to implement and service the technology. As a customer of a healthcare organization rather than a software company, when issues arise, a collaborative environment is often more conducive to solving the problem in a patient-focus manner. Being a part of this network of healthcare facilities means that organizations may have access to everything that the rest of the network has; sharing in quality improvements and efficiency.
2) Increased Patient Referrals
Organizations that are “hosts” to an Epic Community Connect network are much more likely to increase or maintain referral levels due to the shared technology platform, and the likelihood of patient leakage within the market is greatly decreased. Patients who are within your network are much more likely to stay in your network during community outreach programs, because of how simplified the process is. Epic Community Connect allows for an increase in access to referrals – due to the fact that referrals from one healthcare facility to another are as simple as the push of a button – which helps contribute to an increase in revenue and a lowering of your soft costs.
In addition, community outreach programs are greatly beneficial in creating stronger relationships with community providers. When patients arrive into your organization after being referred from another facility within your network, you will already have access to all of their basic information and recent medical history. This means it will be less expensive and time consuming to care for them, and host organizations are able to easily and more cost-effectively maintain and enhance their community provider relationships. Epic Community Connect allows for patients to be moved between organizations in a smooth and efficient manner through the ability to easily transfer data within the system.
3) High Number of Included Benefits
In addition, while specific customizations aren’t going to be plausible when reaping the benefits of Epic Community Connect (due to the fact that your organization is now part of a network of organizations), healthcare facilities will have access to a great deal of the modules that Epic has to offer. Most Epic Community Connect packages will come with everything, even including some modules that you will not need or want. However, you will have access to all different kinds of very advanced features that a normal office practice would not normally get, such as a patient education module, for example.
In most physician practices, if a physician has to buy patient education they do it in one of two ways. They will either buy pamphlets from drug companies who put their advertising on the pamphlets, or have a kiosk or TV screen in the waiting room that shows ads constantly in order to pay for it. However, if your organization is part of an Epic Community Connect program, the host hospital will have already paid for their patient education models, which will be thorough and ad-free, in addition to not costing your organization anything.
By working within a network of healthcare organizations, your healthcare facility will have a much higher rate of referral, and patient information can be shared with the click of a button. In addition, organizations that utilize Epic Community Connect will have full access to an EMR, as well as its features and modules. By utilizing Epic Community Connect, healthcare organizations have a chance to achieve heightened revenue and increased patient care, without many of the costs and headaches that can go along with implementing a brand new EMR on their own.