Pathway, a home health, palliative care, hospice and private duty organization in the San Francisco Bay Area has selected Epic’s EHR to improve home-based care for patients and their families. As part of the implementation, the new EHR system will instantly connect Pathways to the largest group of hospitals and physicians nationwide.
The Epic EHR went live on November 1, connecting Pathways to almost 2,000 hospitals and over 34,000 clinics nationwide. Better data exchange capabilities with California’s major healthcare providers will help patients keep their primary physicians informed as they recovery from surgery or an illness or receive more help with daily tasks. When a patient or his or her family choose Pathways, they will be connected to this same system. The go-live marks Pathways as California’s first free-standing home health and hospice provider to adopt Epic to give patients easier transitions to home-based care.
“Being able to bring patient data together from different sources is one of the biggest challenges in healthcare,” said Pathways IT Director Brad Miller. “Not having all the information available in one place can cause problems such as delays in treatment, duplicate testing or conflicting prescriptions. Epic is helping us overcome that challenge by connecting us to other health systems—regardless of what EHR they use—and consolidating all of our data into one place. It makes a big difference to the quality of care we can provide. ”
“More than 12 million patients are currently on the Epic system in Northern California,” said Pathways CEO Barbara Burgess. “That’s at 19 different facilities. Now, they will be able to experience a seamless transition of care from their hospital or clinic to service at home with Pathways.”
Since August 2015, a diverse group of Pathways clinical leadership including registered nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, therapists, home health aides, and hospice providers have worked with the leadership of El Camino Hospital to tune the Epic system to fit Pathways culture. Patient’s health goals had to be at the center of the plan of care. “From our first conversation with a patient to our last nursing visit, Pathways makes patient wishes the core of our care,” says Burgess.
Other organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area that have implemented the Epic system include Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Contra Costa Health Services, El Camino Hospital, John Muir Health, Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Stanford Health, Sutter Health, and the University of California Health System including UC Davis and UCSF.
“My sister recently moved to the Bay Area from Hawaii. She was having complications from a dog bite that she received before moving. She couldn’t find any of her paperwork, prescriptions, or anything related to the incident from her doctor in Hawaii,” said Laurel Ashcraft, RN—a Pathways nurse. “But when we went to the doctor at Palo Alto Medical Foundation, they were able to pull up her chart in Epic. We knew all we needed to know—and she got the care she needed. It was such a relief to us both and now we are able to offer the same service at Pathways.”