Frequently Asked Questions for Providers

Find solutions to your frequently answered questions here.

  • Saturday, May 29, 2021

  • All RWJ Physician Enterprise providers. These practices are primarily using Allscripts SCM and TouchWorks.

Many factors were taken under consideration in the selection of the new Go-Live date. The new date provides a window of opportunity for a successful implementation with minimal disruption to patient care and billing practices

After a systemwide call for submissions, over 1,300 physicians and employees responded with clear themes emerging across the submissions. One name quickly became an emerging theme: Epic together.

Epic Together is the name of our multi-year Epic implementation. It encompasses a coordinated effort across a project team and the organization. Operational, clinical, and revenue cycle leaders will be engaged throughout implementation.

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) across the organization are involved in the build decisions, training, readiness activities, and eventually, Epic Go-Live.

Epic Together is closely aligned with our SAFETY values.

  • Speak Up for Safety – Epic will give us one electronic health record and enhance our ability to speak up when recognizing a safety concern.
  • Accurately Communicate – Epic will give our patients a voice in their care and enhance our ability to communicate with them, their families, and each other.
  • Focus on the Task – Epic will streamline our tools and enhance our ability to focus on our work and deliver exceptional, patient-focused care.
  • Exercise and Accept a Questioning Attitude – Epic will arm us with a complete picture of our patients’ health histories and care plans and enhance our ability to ask the right questions of each other, our patients, and their families.
  • Thoughtfully Interact – Epic will create a more seamless and empowering experience for our patients and enhance our ability to have meaningful and respectful interactions with them and their families.
  • You and me Together – Epic will impact every team member, facility, and practice across our organization and require teamwork at every level, together.

  • Epic activations typically occur on a Friday or Saturday
  • ​It is preferable to activate as close as possible to the first of the month to avoid multiple reconciliation of financials in two different systems​
  • A Saturday activation ensures a lighter patient load
  • A Saturday activation during a holiday weekend will give end users an extra day to acclimate to Epic before full patient load on Tues. June 1, the day after Memorial Day.
  • NOTE: A holiday weekend Go-Live is not an ideal situation.  It was certainly not part of our original strategy. Unfortunately, COVID-19 forced a four-week delay to our original Go-Live date.

Epic is an electronic health record (EHR) that will replace the myriad other electronic health records, applications, and patient portals in place today. It will establish one EHR across our enterprise, including all ambulatory sites, Rutgers Health, and any additional partners who join us.

Epic Together will establish one EHR across our entire enterprise, including all ambulatory sites, Rutgers Health, and any additional partners who join us. Ultimately, the implementation will impact every aspect of the system.

Epic Together is the name and identity of the Epic implementation. It was created by all of us, with more than 1,300 team members responding to our call for name suggestions. Many responses were identical or similar, and most touched on familiar themes around care, safety, journey, and unity. They reflected how deeply we all identify with our RWJBH vision of creating healthy communities together.

Once fully implemented, Epic will enable us to deliver on the goals of our strategic plan by:

  • Providing tools to support our Safety Together and clinical initiatives;
  • Creating an easier process to direct patients to the most appropriate care;
  • Improving the revenue cycle process;
  • Supporting our clinicians in their research into new therapies;
  • Enabling patients to electronically manage their health, giving them information to be in charge of their health; and,
  • Linking with our communities to improve their health and quality of life.

We selected the foundation system for our Epic implementation so we can begin to move toward standardization. Currently, we work from a variety of platforms and versions, resulting in differing workflows. Implementing a standardized foundation system will support our HRO journey, simplify our work together, allow us to be more agile when updates and upgrades are available, and require less maintenance.

Some of the country’s best health systems use Epic, which provides RWJBH with a great starting point and opportunity to learn from our peers. In fact, 20 of the top 21 health systems (according to the US News & World Report’s hospital rankings) are using Epic. Even more, moving toward Epic’s foundation system enhances our ability to stay agile, current, and responsive to best practices and upgrades. We have learned from others in the industry that the maintenance and upgrades in customized environments are both cumbersome and costly. The foundation system we have selected will best support our HRO journey and further unite every aspect of our health system.

A comprehensive governance structure will lead Epic Together with a deliberate emphasis on ensuring representation from across the organization.

A Steering Committee will be accountable to an Executive Committee and Executive Sponsors, representing support for Epic Together at the organization’s highest levels. They will be supported by Advisory Subject Matter Expert (SME) Committees that align with the different impacted teams throughout the organization. And all of our work will be centered around four care models to ensure inclusivity of the different types of care and services we provide (AMCs, Community Teaching Hospitals, Community Hospitals, and Medical Groups)

Moving to a foundation system means we will not be customizing Epic for the organization. Still, some users will be able to attend user setting labs to configure certain elements depending on their role and workflow.

Last year, we established a multidisciplinary EHR Evaluation Team that consisted of 300 members from 22 areas, each led by an operational chair and an Information Technology and Services (IT&S) lead. This group did an excellent job Speaking Up for Safety and representing their colleagues across the organization.

In addition to the Evaluation Team’s hard work, RWJBH employees and physicians and Rutgers Health staff attended demonstration sessions and provided feedback on the final two platforms. This input informed the decision and led to the selection of Epic as the best tool for our people and our patients.

An integrated patient portal will create improved efficiency for our care teams and enhance the patient experience and enable our patients to take a more active role in their care. Once fully implemented, an integrated patient portal will create improved efficiency for our care teams and enhance the patient experience and enable them to take a more active role in their care. Patients will be able to use one portal for all of their health care needs.
Epic Enhances our Patients’ Experience

  • Open access to scheduling
  • From apps, websites, and all locations
  • Integrated patient portal
  • Ability to pay bills
  • Upgraded tools for patients to ask questions and communicate with providers
  • Pre-visit questionnaires
  • Mobile check-in
  • Integrated Televisits

Yes, the Steering Committee established guiding principles in eight main areas. These principles frame the Committee’s decision-making and keep the group true to our goals for Epic Together. The principles are as follows:

  • Patient Safety & Quality
    • Improve patient safety and quality as our first priority.
  • Patient Engagement
    • Optimize full patient and community engagement in their overall health and well being.
  • Clinician & Staff Satisfaction
    • Enhance efficiency and satisfaction for clinicians and staff.
  • Communication
    • Ensure transparent and frequent communication.
  • Research
    • Advance growth of clinical and translational research through the partnership of Rutgers University and RWJBH.
    • Harness Epic’s advanced patient engagement capabilities to enhance the participation of patients in research.
  • Education
    • Enhance the educational experience across the enterprise for students, health professionals, and patients.
  • Project Approach
    • Own and drive design through clinical and operational leadership with IT support.
    • Configure not to customize the Epic foundation system to meet the specific needs of RWJBH.
    • Ensure decisions are patient-centered and best for the overall enterprise rather than any single facility, department, or service line.
  • Financial
    • Decrease variation and optimize revenue cycle to support financial performance.

Epic Together aligns closely with our SAFETY values. This implementation will impact every team member, facility, and practice across our organization and require a great deal of teamwork.

  • Speak Up for Safety – Epic will give us one electronic health record and enhance our ability to speak up when recognizing a safety concern.
  • Accurately Communicate – Epic will give our patients a voice in their care and enhance our ability to communicate with them, their families, and each other.
  • Focus on the Task – Epic will streamline our tools and enhance our ability to focus on our work and deliver exceptional, patient-focused care.
  • Exercise and Accept a Questioning Attitude – Epic will arm us with a complete picture of our patients’ health histories and care plans and enhance our ability to ask the right questions of each other, our patients, and their families.
  • Thoughtfully Interact – Epic will create a more seamless and empowering experience for our patients and enhance our ability to have meaningful and respectful interactions with them and their families.
  • You and me Together – Epic will impact every team member, facility, and practice across our organization and require teamwork at every level, together.

Epic Together is a significant endeavor with many milestones along the way. We are taking the time to make sure the implementation is as coordinated as possible, and our providers and employees are fully prepared for when they go-live. The implementation will take a phased approach across RWJBH and Rutgers Health, with the full project anticipated to take multiple years.

Yes, the implementation will take a phased approach across RWJBH and Rutgers Health, with sites going live at various points from 2021 to 2023. We will share more information on how this impacts you, your role, and your facility as it becomes available. You can find more information on the timeline on our homepage.

While some sites will begin to go live with Epic in 2021, others will not complete implementation until 2023. To best serve our patients and each other, we will continue to update and work within our current applications throughout this process. As a result, you may see and participate in Epic and our existing vendors’ efforts as we make this transition.

While implementation for your facility may be years away, your involvement in the design and build phase is critical. Over the next year, we’ll focus our efforts on making sure we build a foundation system that works for everyone.

Throughout all phases of this work, your feedback is essential to ensure we build the best tool possible and are confident when it comes time to go live. Planning is underway to establish a timeline for each phase of the work, and we will share more information on how this impacts you, your role, and your facility as soon as it becomes available.

Open Notes is a best practice that will continue within the Epic System. Continuing to share Open Notes during the transition is encouraged. Click here to learn more about Open Notes for RWJBH.

Patients will access to Epic through Epic MyChart. Patients will be notified of the conversion from the legacy EMR upon registration with Epic MyChart. The rollout of the patient application will depend on your location.

Benefits of Epic MyChart include:

  • Open access to scheduling
  • From apps, websites, and all locations
  • Integrated patient portal
  • Ability to pay bills
  • Upgraded tools for patients to ask questions and communicate with providers
  • Pre-visit questionnaires
  • Mobile check-in
  • Integrated Televisits

Yes, Epic will enable you to add profile pictures and diagnostic photos.

Yes, you will be able to dictate notes using Dragon.

Yes, you will be able to access Epic on your phone and Ipad through Haiku and Canto, and Limerick on Apple Watch.