Epic releases software update to help identify coronavirus infections

Epic on Jan. 22 released an automatic software update to its standard travel screening questionnaire to help hospital clients spot new cases of coronavirus by asking patients about their recent international travel.

Five things to know:

1. If a patient has traveled from China or has symptoms of coronavirus, a respiratory infection originating in Wuhan, China, the Epic EHR advises the provider to start isolation precautions to contain potential infection.

2. Epic collaborated with biocontainment experts, infectious disease physicians, Epic-using clinicians and the CDC on the update.   

3. Healthcare organizations that use Epic automatically get the new coronavirus alert within Epic's travel screening activity.

4. Epic representatives are reaching out to organizations to confirm that their workflows within the EHR follow CDC's guidelines.

5. Renton, Wash.-based Providence, which uses an Epic EHR, is treating the first identified case of coronavirus in the U.S., according to the news release. As of the morning of Jan. 24, a second case of coronavirus in the U.S. was confirmed in Chicago, The Washington Post reports. 

Editor's note: This article was updated on Jan. 24 at 10 a.m. CT. 

More articles on EHRs:
Former Cerner employees sue company over retirement plan fees 
Epic CEO Judy Faulkner asks hospitals to oppose HHS' interoperability rule
How HHS' proposed interoperability rules will affect patients, EHR vendors

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