UC San Diego Health builds EHR tools to manage COVID-19 

UC San Diego Health researchers have built several COVID-19-specific tools within its Epic EHR to support care management during the pandemic, according to a March 24 study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association

On Feb. 5, researchers set up an incident command center that allows for 24-hour monitoring of COVID-19 patients. After assessing the disease and its rapidly evolving conditions and recommendations from local, state, federal and global regulators, the health system began developing several EHR tools that can help manage and support critical care during a pandemic. 

"Technology-based tools can effectively support institutions during a pandemic by facilitating the immediate widespread distribution of information, tracking transmission in real-time, creating virtual venues for meetings and day-to-day operations, and, perhaps most importantly, offering telemedicine visits for patients,” the study authors said.

The health system's new EHR tools include screening protocols; system-level EHR templates; inpatient, emergency department and ambulatory order panels; reporting and analytics; communication channels; and patient-facing technology. 

While building the EHR tools presented challenges for the health system's team, including frequent design adjustments to meet rapidly evolving requirements and communication and adoption barriers, the study authors said that the tools are vital to managing disease outbreaks. 

Click here to view the full report. 

More articles on EHRs: 
The big trends in interoperability, innovation and the coronavirus: 7 insights from Allscripts CEO Paul Black
How UCFS is navigating 'the perfect storm' of an EHR go-live during the coronavirus pandemic
7 alerts, tools hospitals are adding to their EHRs

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