CommuniCare Health Centers (CCHC) is requesting funding to purchase and implement an electronic health record system, EPIC. This funding will support interoperability-exchanging health information between healthcare organizations. The implementation of EPIC will improve the quality of care and information exchange across the healthcare system, and increase provider satisfaction and retention. One of the greatest challenges in coordination of care with an electronic health record system (EHR) has been the inability to share information electronically across health care entities. CommuniCare Health Centers is uniquely impacted by this due to 42 CFR as a provider of protected substance use disorder services. We have been unable to participate in Health Information Exchange efforts due to the limitations with our current platform, eClinicalWorks. CCHC currently relies on receiving faxed documents or logging in to multiple portals to retrieve patient information from other organizations, a process which leads to delays in making vital treatment decisions. EPIC allows interoperability to share patient information with our local hospitals. Health care providers struggle to access medical information about their patients if the patient was seen at a hospital or clinic that uses a different EHR. The system allows providers to give improved quality of care as well as lower cost of care particularly those with chronic and complex conditions. Implementing Epic will give CCHC the ability to quickly improve workflows. Epic will include implementation of several beneficial modules, e.g., dental, behavioral health, and a comprehensive care coordination module. It allows health centers to import and manage patient rosters, which streamline program enrollment. Once a patient is enrolled, health center staff use the system to document the care team members, care plan, health action plan and any other patient-contact that staff have with the patient. Consents a
nd Release of Information (ROI) can be attached directly to the care plan. The system allows the staff to attach billing codes to these encounters to create claims which can be submitted electronically. Our current EHR does not provide sufficient functionality to meet current clinical and administrative demands. The web-based patient interface does not function to allow more than one health center’s patients to schedule their own appointments and access their health records. EPIC does have this capability for patient interface via online access. Implementation of EPIC will benefit more than 24,000 CCHC patients, many of who are Medi-Cal recipients, by reducing duplication of tests, unnecessary costs, and delays in services.