Did you know that 92% of admitted patients don’t require hospitalization? In fact, most of their diagnoses, test results, and treatment plans can be organized and managed by outpatient care managers and clinicians.
A system that focuses on ambulatory care and the enhancement of relationships between patients and providers while still managing important data and records in the patient portal sounds too good to be true, right? Well, this is where the Epic Ambulatory module comes in.
Read on to learn more about what Epic Ambulatory is and what it can do for your organization.
What is Epic Ambulatory?
Ambulatory electronic medical record (EMR) systems make the analysis and storage of important data and records for complete patient populations a little simpler within an organization’s interconnected systems. These EMR systems focus on outpatient care, including any surgeries, procedures, or treatment done at outpatient clinics or primary and specialty care practices. Ambulatory EMRs are mainly focused on longitudinal patient care and the software helps navigate diagnoses, managing patient interactions, and monitoring prescriptions.
Epic’s Ambulatory module follows suit and offers additional support for clinicians charged with managing and monitoring outpatient care. And, with the growing need for ambulatory technology throughout the healthcare industry, EpicCare Ambulatory is one of the largest and most widely used applications within the entire Epic system.
Healthcare providers and physicians at outpatient and specialty clinics use the Epic Ambulatory module to monitor clinical data coming in and out of the system, keep track of patient registration, provide clinical documentation for patient visits, and so much more.
Key Features of the Solution
The Epic Ambulatory EMR is one of the most well known and used modules of Epic systems (and rightfully so). And, because Epic Ambulatory can provide important analytics, functionality, and opportunities in so many areas of non-hospital healthcare organizations, there’s a seemingly endless list of benefits for users. Here are a few of the main features of the system:
- Standard reporting and documentation for clinical workflows
- Optional billing suite for additional financial data support and visibility (including paperless billing capabilities)
- Continual system upgrades and maintenance
- Pre-built integration capabilities for other Epic modules (including Inpatient, Haiku, Canto, and MyChart)
- Increased functionality that improves physician productivity and system effectiveness
- Embedded predictive analytics and tools to optimize clinical tasks
- Customized workflows and mobile app integration to speed up tasks
- Available for various different specialties (including Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Pediatrics, etc.)
Integration with Other Systems
Having a system like Epic Ambulatory to keep track of EMRs and other tools to manage outpatient care is a major key to success, but add in pre-built integration capabilities and you’ve got something special.
Leaders and developers in the Epic community understand just how important integration between integral company systems is, which is why modules made for certain specialties are built with the same data structure and platform structure as all of the other modules within the Epic system. This way, when new technology is needed to keep up with change in the healthcare world, Epic systems and customized modules don’t skip a beat.
Here’s a quick look at two of the main integrations available for the Epic Ambulatory software:
Epic Inpatient (aka ClinDoc) offers characteristics and functionality that resemble that of the Epic Ambulatory module, but rather than focusing on outpatient day surgery and other tests and procedures, the clinical tasks are completed for admitted patients within the hospital system.
Integration between Epic’s Ambulatory and Inpatient modules is common, but because the systems share global system settings and an ERX master file, it’s important for developers, technologists, physicians, and other stakeholders to understand the complexity of each module and the whole integration.
As is the case with any system integration, there are a few important things to consider to mitigate the risk for error and reduce conflicts between the systems:
- Maintain universal access to the database for physicians and pharmacists
- Uphold reliable communication lines between clinical professionals (i.e. pharmacists, physicians, and nurses) and approval from each before ordering, distributing, or administering medication
- Assign a liaison for interdepartmental work and emphasize focus on connections between different areas of the organization (i.e. balancing different medication requirements from clinicians in separate specialties)
- Emphasize the importance of training for Epic users in any speciality or department
Epic MyChart is a web-based portal that gives patients access to their own patient portal or EMR and establishes direct connection routes between the patient and their provider. With improved visibility, customized tools, and universally-controlled access to the main Epic servers, patients and organizations can reap the benefits of reduced costs and increased satisfaction across the board.
Epic MyChart also has an area of functionality that focuses on managing health plans, monitoring clinical activity, and maintaining connection with inpatient nursing staff while patients are admitted to the hospital – Epic MyChart Bedside.
Here are some things to consider when integrating MyChart and Ambulatory:
- Maintenance of intersection points between patient engagement and Meaningful Use standards
- Combined patient and clinician adoption and support for the application
- Coordination of care plans between patients, physicians, and other Epic users
- Improved security permissions to protect the full patient experience
Working with the Best
Implementing a system like Epic Ambulatory in your organization can seem like quite the undertaking, especially for a team who may lack the internal knowledge or support needed to keep up with an ever-changing healthcare industry. This is where Surety Systems can help.
Whether you need an extra hand in implementing your Epic Ambulatory module or additional support for a more complex integration with other applications within the Epic software (or even with non-Epic systems), our team of senior-level Epic consultants can fit the bill.
How Can We Help?
With the help of our consultants, your team will be able to conquer any Epic implementation or integration with no problem. And, to give you a better idea of what to expect when working with us, we’ve included a snapshot of one of our top-notch Epic consultants:
Surety Senior Epic Ambulatory Consultant
- 8 years of EPIC experience
- EPIC Ambulatory, Cadence, Radiant expert
- 4 full life cycle EPIC implementations
- 5 years experience as an Epic Certified Trainer
- Mychart patient portal foundation expert
- Certified in Ambulatory, Radiant, Cupid, Stork and Willow
Contact us today to learn more.