Partners eCare: Integrating Care across the Continuum of Care
By Denise Goldsmith, RN, MS, MPH, Chief Nursing Information Officer
Partners eCare (PeC), an integrated electronic health information system, will be available at all institutions across the Partners HealthCare network, beginning with the implementation at BWH in 2015. The largest program of its kind in the history of Partners, PeC will be supported by an information technology infrastructure that will connect our patients' continuum of care from primary and acute hospital care to rehabilitation and home care. PeC will serve as the foundation for new care models that BWH is pioneering today.
The PeC guiding principle is "one patient, one record, one team, one Partners statement," enabling a seamless flow of clinical and administrative information about a patient anywhere within the Partners system. The robust integration of clinical, financial and research systems through PeC will facilitate excellent patient care and lead to an improved patient and family experience. PeC will support patient-centric care, encourage the right care at the right location for each patient and minimize unjustified variation in care. PeC will ensure that all patients' information can be found in one record that is visible to all clinicians caring for our patients.
Implementation of PeC requires the replacement of most BWH core clinical applications, such as provider order entry, eMAR, clinical documentation and other applications. More than 150 BWH nurses have participated in the current phase of PeC work. Last spring, clinical nurses, nurse educators and nurse directors contributed to the validation of future workflows within the system. During the summer and fall, the clinical content required to populate flow sheets and order sets was validated by many of these same nurses. Intensive work took place for critical care units, intermediate care units, the Emergency Department, Peri-operative, Labor and Delivery and the NICU.
Janet Kelly, RN, clinical nurse on Shapiro 6 West, who participated in both work flow validation sessions and flow sheet content development, describes her experience. "Each of the Partners entities has a unique way of documenting," she said. "Working in the subject matter expert groups allowed us to explore and implement the best practice for all."
John Solman, RN, clinical nurse on Tower 10BA, has participated in many PeC sessions with a focus on our medication administration workflows. He notes, "Working on Partners eCare has been an exciting project to reevaluate our best practices with a multidisciplinary team from around Partners. "
While much progress has been made since July 2012 when Partners announced a partnership with Epic, there is still much work to do. A group of nurse experts from across Partners will soon come together to identify the evidence-based content that will form the foundation of the Plan of Care module in Epic. Shortly thereafter, a standardized handoff tool will be developed. Determining what additional computer hardware is required and where to fit it in outpatient care areas will challenge us all. BWH nurses continue to be actively involved in all aspects of this design and build phase. Their expertise, commitment and contributions to the process and to the development of our future documentation tools are evident in all of the hundreds of design sessions that are held. BWH is fortunate to have such an expert group of clinical nurses participating in and making decisions about the future of our electronic health record.