Aspen Valley's CIO Michelle Gelroth on the switch from Meditech to Epic

Aspen (Colo.) Valley Hospital went live with its $16 million Epic EHR installation on Oct. 1. 

Becker's reached out to Aspen Valley CIO Michelle Gelroth to discuss what drove the EHR switch and the process of installing a new system. 

Question: What benefits will patients see from the switch to Epic?

Michelle Gelroth: The most visible aspect of our switch to Epic is how patients can interact with our organization through the MyChart patient portal. However, behind the scenes, we are utilizing Epic to collaborate with other providers, pharmacies, insurers, community resources and care teams to ensure care coordination is efficient, timely and effective for our patients.

Q: Why did Aspen Valley Hospital select Epic?

MG: Epic's interoperability based on "one patient, one chart" was very important to us. As a rural, resort community we often care for patients who are visiting from across the country and all over the world. Being able to connect with providers in other locations and seamlessly share information with one another greatly enhances the quality of care and patient experience. Our quest for a new EHR system was based on finding the deepest level of interoperability possible while ensuring it was user-friendly to both healthcare workers and patients.

Q: Did the COVID-19 pandemic present any unique difficulties to implementing a new EHR system?

MG: In many ways, our implementation benefited from the pandemic. We received applications from healthcare workers who were looking to change their careers during "The Great Resignation" to assist with our implementation. Once we hired a great team, we were able to get them certified on Epic remotely, saving us time and money. We relied heavily on Zoom and Slack throughout the project, and we were grateful our organization had become experts with collaboration tools during the pandemic.

Q: Any advice you would give to other systems changing EHRs?

MG: Be patient and find the right solution for your organization. We spent the last 10 years patiently seeking the right opportunity.

Q: How do you prepare staff for a new EHR?

MG: Preparation really starts before you select a new EHR. Having the right governance in place through the selection process is critical to naturally pave the way for organization wide change management and go-live readiness. We have a very supportive board of directors, medical staff, executive team and IT steering committee that helped navigate us through the transition and set the guiding principles for how we would be successful together. It's also very important that a new EHR project is not an IT project, but instead, facilitated by IT through the direction and ownership of the operational experts.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars