Now that many Epic implementations are complete, attention has turned to the community of providers. Hospitals, in an effort to solidify referral patterns, enhance primary care and grow their business, have begun to offer their Epic Community Connect technology platform to the community. Yet many healthcare IT departments are simply NOT ready. In his Epic Community Connect webinar, HCI’s VP of Community Outreach Services, Scott Jacobs, answers 7 key questions you should ask in order to make your program a success, and make sure you are maximizing your ROI for Epic.
1) You Have Decided to Extend Your Epic EMR Platform: Now What?
Once you have decided to start the program, there are a few things you must consider. One of the most important things to keep in mind while extending an EHR is that it is NOT just an IT project – it is a community relationship program. Technology is the wedge that can get you into the game, but the relationships and networks you form are what wins the game. Creating, nurturing, and maintaining community provider relations requires clinical and administrative leadership that is beyond the normal scope of IT operations. For this reason, you must strive to compliment IT with strong business acumen.
2) What Are Your Goals For Your Epic Community Connect Program?
Once you know how to define your project, you are able to set some goals for it. If your program goal is simply to have a program, you have already lost. Don’t just count the number of installs, count something meaningful: clinical immigration, patient referral patterns, patient outcomes, or quality indicators. Use technology to expand the provider network without having to purchase employees, buildings, and malpractice liability, while reaping the benefits of clinical, patient, and analytics integration. By doing this, everyone wins; there is better patient care for the entire community, more efficient and compliant community clinics, and lower costs for the host hospital in technology investments and in community access. If you implement your program well, people will want to do more business with you because you’ve made it easier for them.
3) Why Are You Doing an Epic Community Connect Program?
Have a long conversation with those who came to you and said “we want to do this program” and find out exactly what their motivations are. Again, if they are doing it just to do it, it will fail. Extension of your Epic EHR is a long term strategy - once extended, community providers become customers for a very long time. Always remember that this is a relationship program, of which technology is the enabler, and approach all interactions with this in mind. This process takes a long time, so be prepared to wait 2-3 years before you begin to see any ROI. Define the product you are selling, and it will help define your program.
These are brief summaries on the first 3 key questions you must ask in order to make your Epic Community Connect program a success. Make sure to watch Scott Jacobs' full webinar in order to learn more on these three key questions, and to learn more on the remaining four:
4) What Are You Offering?
5) How Much? (Price/Stark Considerations)
6) Who Are You Extending To?
7) What Are Your Affiliates Expecting?