In this post, we will share several updates to the Epic project timeline, along with context as to why and how these decisions were made. Please keep in mind that the project timeline is evaluated on a continuous basis in accordance with High Reliability Organization (HRO) best practices. This is in an effort to always keep patient and staff safety as our number one priority throughout our multi-year Epic implementation process. By making this information available to all Epic project stakeholders, it is our goal to maintain understanding and transparency in alignment with RWJBH’s Safety Together value system and Epic Together Guiding Principles.
Below, you will find updates on:
- Project Timeline Update: Which Sites are Going Live and When
- Project Timeline Update: How and Why the Timeline was Changed
- Training Updates
- Updates for Physician Champions
What is the Go-Live date for Wave 1?
Saturday, May 29, 2021
Which sites are going live on May 29?
All RWJ Physician Enterprise providers. These practices are primarily using Allscripts SCM and TouchWorks.
Which sites are being shifted to Wave 2 (October 1, 2021)?
Barnabas Health Medical Group providers, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Eric B. Chandler Health Center
Which sites are going live on October 1, 2021 (Wave 2)?
Barnabas Health Medical Group providers, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Eric B. Chandler Health Center, RWJ University Hospital Somerset
Which sites are being shifted to Wave 3 (April 2, 2022)?
Cancer Institute of New Jersey non-infusion clinics
Which sites are going live on April 2, 2022 (Wave 3)?
CINJ non-infusion clinics (physician practice), CINJ Infusion Center, RWJ University Hospital New Brunswick, RWJ University Hospital Hamilton, RWJ University Hospital Rahway, Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at RWJUH
Why will RWJ-PE will remain the sole Wave 1 entity for Wave 1 on May 29?
There are significant restrictions due to COVID-19 and the executive orders related to capacity. PE is a much smaller organization, and we were able to train this group in full within the government guidelines.
Why was this decision made?
As a High-Reliability Organization (HRO), we must analyze and optimize operations on an ongoing basis. The Epic Activation timeline is part of that ongoing process.
These adjustments to the Epic Activation will set us up for success and align with our HRO vision of comprehensive support for providers, students, researchers, clinical care teams, patients, and the communities we serve.
What was the primary catalyst for this decision?
COVID-19 continues to place a tremendous demand system-wide. Vaccination efforts are the top priority right now, putting considerable strain on staff availability for Epic implementation-related functions.
Further, patient safety and site readiness are critical considerations for Epic Go-Live.
Furthermore, the executive order regarding in-person capacity challenges our ability to train our providers system-wide.
Who made this decision?
This decision was made in partnership by leaders from RWJBarnabas Health, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ).
What factors were taken into consideration when making this decision?
The Epic Executive Committee, in partnership with leaders from Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, evaluated the Epic Activation Timeline for Wave 1 through 3 based on:
- Patient Safety
- Ensuring any new interim workflows have a mitigation strategy to insulate patient safety risks
- Clinician and Staff Satisfaction
- Ensuring interim workflows do not decrease efficiency and satisfaction
- Strategic Initiatives
- Ensuring the combined Medical Group (Physician Enterprise, Barnabas Health Medical Group, and Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School) is active on Epic by Oct. 2021
- National Cancer Institute (NCI) re-accreditation success at CINJ
- Eric B. Chandler must activate with Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School due to shared clinical providers
- Training Capacity
- Ensuring there is enough training capacity based on the Governor’s executive order for a hybrid in-person training model
- COVID-19 Site Readiness
- Prioritizing staff availability for COVID-19 site readiness and vaccination versus Go-Live readiness
How was the decision made to activate Rutgers-RWJ Medical School and Eric B. Chandler?
Eric B. Chandler Health Center must activate with Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School due to shared clinical providers.
How does the decision to have Rutgers-RWJ Medical School and Eric B. Chandler go live in Wave 2 help Rutgers-RWJ Medical School and Eric B. Chandler?
The decision to have Rutgers-RWJ Medical School and Eric B. Chandler Health Center go live in Wave 2 with RWJUH Somerset & BHMG practices on 10/1/21 will be greatly beneficial to the students, providers, clinical care teams, patients and communities served by Rutgers-RWJ Medical School and Eric B. Chandler. As you know, COVID-19 made it difficult to train the full breadth of staff at these large organizations.
- This adjustment will ensure there is sufficient training capacity in Wave 1 and still ensure the strategic initiative of a combined medical group active on Epic by Oct. 2021.
- It also makes sure Eric B. Chandler activates with Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School due to shared clinical providers.
Why is Rutgers-RWJ Medical School going live in Wave 2 but not New Jersey Medical School?
Currently, RWJBH has a master affiliation agreement with Rutgers-RWJ Medical School only. While the medical schools continue to consolidate into one entity, we will treat them as separate Go-Live sites.
How does the decision to have CINJ go live during Wave 3 help CINJ?
The decision to have CINJ go live on Epic during Wave 3 on 4/2/22 will be greatly beneficial to the students, providers, clinical care teams, patients and communities served by CINJ:
- This decision eliminates interim workflows to insulate any potential patient safety issues and ensures clinician and staff efficiency and satisfaction.
- A National Cancer Institute (NCI) re-accreditation success strategy predicated on a comprehensive support model for providers, researchers, clinical care teams, students, and patients. This model will include extended pre-live preparation resources and extended At-The-Elbow Go-Live support.
- The NCI success model enables greater provider productivity, efficiency, and patient enrollment into clinical trials before and during the Epic activation phase.
Can training be done from home, virtually, or are we required to come on-site?
There have been logistical challenges related to regulations as well as ensuring that the quality of at-home-training is high enough to maintain provider and patient safety standards.
After further testing and several dry-run Training Sessions, the Epic Together Training Team is recommending that all trainees (including providers, managers and physicians) come on-site to a Training Facility to maximize your learning experience. Once at our facility, you will be equipped with all the necessary tools and resources to be successful. This includes all technical equipment, headsets, live tech support and additional trainers to leverage if need be. Feel free to bring your own headset if you would like to do so.
What is the latest on hybrid training and in-person capacity at Oceanport and Campus Drive?
- Capacity recently increased at Campus Drive and we are working around the clock to fill available spots for training, starting on March 8.
- You may have been re-assigned back to Campus Drive if that was your original preference. Please verify the date still works for your clinical schedule.
- The Campus Drive schedule is complete so users can register wherever there is an opening.
I already completed my e-Learnings in NetLearning and am now in a later Go-Live. Will I have to take them again?
It is always a good idea to refresh your knowledge of the system prior to training. Your work has not gone to waste and will serve you well when you complete your full training with your new Wave.
When does training for Wave 2 and Wave 3 begin?
For Rutgers-RWJ Medical School and Eric B. Chandler Health Center, Wave 2 training will begin in June. The exact date will be made available soon on EpicTogetherNJ.org. Wave 3 training dates have not yet been decided but will be listed on EpicTogetherNJ.org as soon as they are available.
How does the activation shift affect me as a Physician Champion?
All Champions will be called upon throughout the seven Waves for different roles and responsibilities, including build and data validation. Many of these decision and validation tasks will not be specific to a specialty.
If classes related to your specialty aren’t available during Wave 1 Go-Live training, then please take a class for a general specialty, either Internal Medicine/Family Practice or General Surgery. The general orientation to Epic and most of the data review and documentation tasks are common to all specialties. Although not required, this is highly recommended.
Even if you have not completed Epic training by the time of the RWJ-PE Go-Live in May, you will be asked to participate leading up to and during the May 29 Go-Live to help with other functions such as answering questions from providers and staff, communicating concerns of the practices and planning for future go-live Waves.
How does the activation shift affect me as a Physician Epic Coach?
If you are part of the PE, then your training schedule has not changed. If you are part of CINJ, Rutgers-RWJ Medical School, or Eric B. Chandler, then you will be trained during the sessions for that organization.
For Rutgers-RWJ Medical School and Eric B. Chandler, Wave 2 training will begin in June. The exact date will be made available soon on EpicTogetherNJ.org.
Wave 3 training dates have not yet been decided but will be listed on EpicTogetherNJ.org as soon as they are available.