Sunday, April 2, 2017

It's EPIC!

July 2015 -After much thought and a lot of prayer, I made one HUGE decision...and it sure wasn't an easy one, let me tell you! After an amazing 5+ years working in Radiation Oncology at PRMC's Cancer Center, I accepted an IT analyst position (within the hospital) as part of the EPIC team.  When this opportunity presented itself, I remember praying that God would put me where I could be used BEST and here I am, a year and 8 months later, steady trying to make Him proud!

August 2015 - January 2016 - I traveled multiple times to Wisconsin, completed more projects, and took more exams in that 5 month time frame than I EVER want to do again!  Well, the travel and projects weren't too bad, but those exams...definitely NOT my thing!  However, I DID IT!!!  I became certified in 3 applications - EpicCare Ambulatory, MyChart, and Care Everywhere!

January - October 2016 - All of our applications (there are many) worked within their teams to build the system.  For my team, the Ambulatory team - that meant countless hours dedicated to meetings with management, physicians, supervisors; our end users... Gathering as much info as we could to build the system as user friendly as we could for them.

To say this took teamwork is an understatement.
We quickly learned who was good at what.  If that makes any sense?!
Build and then test. Rebuild and test again.  A constant cycle!
And we rocked it out!

November 1, 2016 - We went LIVE!!!
I can still remember the email that was sent early that morning from our management stating, and I quote, "As of 05:29 a.m. on November 1st, 2016 , Peninsula Regional Health System is live on the EPIC EMR system.   Thanks to all for the hard work that led us to this point and for the great team work that will carry us through the activation phase."

I think I might have even shed a little tear.
Like, I thought to myself, I was a part of this!!!

We definitely were better together!

Long days.
Very long days.
Some applications had to cover 24 hour shifts.
A Command Center that was filled with workstations for every application where tickets were steady being addressed.

An intense time as we changed the workflow for everyone within our system...on the same day, what they considered a Big Bang!!!
And as expected, we had things that needed to be fixed and rebuilt, but for the most part, after the first three weeks, the majority of our departments were running without the need of consistent on hand support. 

And in the months that have followed, we have worked on making the system work even better for our end users!  As I mentioned, this is a constant cycle as needs are always changing...and in the midst of that, we also get system updates which also require build, testing, and training!

Tomorrow, April 3, 2017, we will bring our first Community Connect office live on the EPIC system!!!  The idea behind this being one patient, one chart!  And the hope that in the near future, more local physician offices will join to help provide our patients in the local community the best care possible - allowing the end user access to all the patients information in one electronic chart!

My Ambulatory team has been working directly with our Community Connect office and to once again say we've been busy is an understatement! I was reminded how much I don't love 12 hr work days this past week! That being said, we have a fantastic team of analysts who have truly prepared as best we can for a successful implementation!

I've learned in my time as an analyst that I am NOT the best analyst.
The build I was responsible for didn't always come easy.  And I have learned to simply say, "Treat me like I'm dumb...and break it down for a sister!"
I've learned that I am good being the communicator - finding out what isn't working or what is needed and passing that on to our analysts to build.  I do help, don't get me wrong, I just know where my strengths are. 
I'm good at keeping it together when it seems to be falling apart AND always ready with a good word for the day!

We have another Jenny within our group and they refer to us as "The Jenny's" - we work really well together...we're better together!!!  I joke that she's my other half - that if one of us can't figure it out, you'll hear us say, "Let's ask the other Jenny!"  I'm thankful for her!

We are a team of 13!  Within that 13 is 1 male...and God bless him, he handles it really well!  There are 2 other dedicated ambulatory analysts and we have 3 trainers we have to help us, and analysts that work more on our Beacon application that help us, too!

We are a small family!  Since August 2015, many of us have had a lot going on in our personal lives...but like any family, our team pulls together to help however we can!

I may not always know what I'm doing, and if I'm being honest, often question if I made the right decision, but it's projects like these, where multiple applications work together for one end goal...Well, it makes me feel proud of what we do!

And reminds me that we ARE better together!


1 comment:

  1. I am so very proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone with such faith! We never know what we are capable of until we try something we've never attempted before. . . . .but that stepping out is frightening. So many times in my career when I was presented with challenges to take on responsibilities that I had never considered before, I was intimidated and was always afraid of letting my employer and clients down. Now, all these decades later, looking back, my worries were a waste of time, because with the help of God, and my willingness to learn, even if it meant making mistakes and failing until I got it right, advanced me not only in my career, but in how I viewed my self value. Simply put, it's "life growth".