Staff train and prepare to say goodbye to the IDX system
As Yale-New Haven Hospital and many Yale Medical Group (YMG) practices gear up to go live with Epic applications in February’s so-called “Big Bang,” it would be easy to overlook two other key parts of the electronic medical record (EMR) system that will soon be implemented.
Cadence is Epic’s scheduling application; Prelude handles the patient registration process. Both will replace the General Electric IDX system that has been in use since 1998.
Many YMG administrative staffers are already taking online and classroom training in Cadence. In addition, they can turn to an unusual group of application “veterans.” More than a year ago, when Northeast Medical Group (NEMG) community practices became part of the Yale New Haven Health System Epic universe, they agreed to turn their scheduling and registration needs over to YMG’s central registration operation, which logs in data on some 35,000 patients system-wide each month.
One advantage of engaging NEMG is that YMG staff now has a group of homegrown super users to turn to for help with both applications. Another positive is that the NEMG experience has enabled the Epic staffers who are fine-tuning Cadence and Prelude to “determine what will work for YMG,” said Sally Thibodeau, director of patient financial services. “There’s nothing like working directly in the Epic Practice Management System to better determine how your business processes will be affected. This has allowed us the opportunity to understand and work through all the implications,” she said.
So, in short order, patient appointments will be scheduled through Cadence, all the registration information will be entered into Prelude, and everything will be part of the “one patient, one record” Epic EMR.
“Not only is Epic going to help us automate processes that have been manual, it will also enable YMG to become more efficient and more metrics driven,” said Chief Revenue Officer Marianne Dess-Santoro. “For example, if a patient has scheduled an appointment for an MRI, Epic’s work file structure will allow us to track not only the appointment but will also help us to make sure that we have obtained all required insurance pre-certifications prior to the appointment. This is a great patient satisfier and will reduce administrative follow-up and re-work on our end.”