Capital Health to use Epic for
Capital Health has chosen Epic Systems, a leader in healthcare
information technology, to implement an electronic medical record (EMR)
and scheduling system that provides clinicians and patients one-stop
access to ambulatory care services.
“Capital Health is excited to be teaming with Epic to develop Canada’s
largest electronic medical record system,” said Sheila Weatherill
(pictured), Capital Health President and CEO. “We want to enhance
the level of standardization, patient safety and collaboration among
providers by sponsoring a common EMR solution for Capital Health medical
staff and for outpatient services.”
Targeted to begin in late 2006, this will be Epic’s largest, most
comprehensive installation in Canada. The company has been rated highly
for its software products and clinical information system
implementations with large-sized, academic healthcare organizations.
With input from more than 300 physicians and clinicians, Epic was
selected through a competitive process to develop a region-wide patient
scheduling system (Cadence) that will allow referring physicians,
clinicians and patients to locate and book the first available
appointment anywhere within the region improving management of resources
and wait times.
Epic will also develop an ambulatory electronic medical record (EpicCare)
that will enhance information sharing among Capital Health facilities,
Primary Care Networks and outpatient clinics to support more efficient
care of patients.
To ensure both systems are compatible, the solution required a common
database, results reporting, order entry, physician referral management
(AffiliateLink), clinical decision support alerts and reminders,
physician billing support, a patient portal (MyChart) and integration to
other applications such as PACS and netCARE, Capital Health’s electronic
MyChart will give patients quick access to their medical records and lab
results as well as schedule appointments and request medical renewals.
AffiliateLink gives referring physicians a secure link to follow the
progress of their patients’ care while in a Capital Health facility.
“The gold standard for patient care is to have physicians – both within
Capital Health and private practice – integrated on a single common IT
platform,” adds Donna Strating, Capital Health Vice-President of
Information Systems and Equipment and Chief Information Officer.
All ambulatory clinicians and physicians employed by or affiliated with
Capital Health will have access to the electronic scheduling and
Family physicians and multidisciplinary primary care teams within the
region will also have the option to use Capital Health as their EMR
vendor. More than 40 percent of physicians in Alberta have automated
offices thanks to a provincial EMR-funded program.
Strating says the EMR will complement netCARE, a web-based system that
pulls key patient records from various sources across the province. The
EMR will provide a patient’s complete medical record and also offers the
interactive ability to order tests and analyze patient conditions. Key
patient data in the EMR will also be included into netCARE, allowing
acute and outpatient information to be available to authorized users.
Dr. Ernie Schuster, Family Physician at the Misericordia Community
Hospital and Medical Director for Primary Care, says the EMR and EHR
will complement each other to fulfill the needs of care providers and
multidisciplinary teams. “The EMR will enhance the connectivity among
ambulatory care sites and result in more efficient management of
patients. Physicians and care providers can access all vital patient
information regardless of where the information was collected within
Capital Health sees more than two million out patients each year.
Physicians in private offices see approximately 5,000 patients each per
year. The scheduling system will go live in the summer of 2007 and the
EMR will follow in late 2007.
About Capital Health
Capital Health in Edmonton is Canada’s largest health region and is
affiliated with the University of Alberta, providing integrated health
services to one million residents in Edmonton and the surrounding area.
Capital Health acts as a referral centre to central and northern
Alberta, the North and the Prairies, providing specialized services such
as trauma and burn treatment, organ transplants and high-risk