On behalf of the RWJBarnabas Health leadership team, we would like to acknowledge the Information Technology & Services (IT&S) department. While fighting through the many unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, our IT&S department’s hard work and commitment to excellence continues to put RWJBH on the right path for Epic Together. We are honored to have you here, as your accomplishments and dedication throughout this pandemic and the Epic project have been remarkable – thank you.
Here are the ways in which the Health Informatics, Heritage Applications, Innovation & Mobility, Security, Third Party Systems, Site Leadership, Infrastructure and Field Services teams and others have exemplified RWJBH’s cultural values of Safety Together, by remaining committed to helping others when it has mattered the most:
- The PowerWorks team has been blazing the trail for the Epic team and working with RWJBH’s ambulatory practices every day.
- The Enterprise Application Development team has been working on multiple COVID-19-related projects since the pandemic started. Enterprise Application Development was instrumental in getting the enterprise COVID-19 bed board active, reflecting in-house COVID-19 patients by bed and automating the state reporting of COVID-19 cases for all of our facilities.
- The Infrastructure team sprang into action when COVID-19 hit and got the organization stood up remotely, giving us the ability to connect virtually. Where would we be without this?
- Site Leadership has been playing a fundamental role for both the current IT platform and the future IT platform, becoming the face of IT for our entire organization alongside Field Services.
- The Health Informatics team has been playing a dual role in both supporting RWJBH sites through COVID-19 while working directly on the Epic project in countless ways at the same time.
- The Service Management team came to work every day to support our hospitals and simultaneously were central to enabling COVID-19 triage tents, telemedicine and remote work environments with the appropriate technology.
- Our Centralized Access Management group created remote access processes for nearly 4,000 members of our workforce.
- Enterprise Business Information Systems completed their work on COVID-19 test and antibody tracking and is currently building out the surveillance solution for the COVID-19 vaccines.
- The Enterprise Integration Systems team created the interface work within our lab systems for the central COVID-19 testing at the New Brunswick Campus.
- The Heritage Pharmacy and Enterprise Clinical Information Systems teams provided numerous treatment plans and diagnostic pathways while the evidence was changing on a daily basis.
- The Project Management Office coordinated multiple third-party applications to enhance the core functionality of the Heritage and Epic EHRs.
- Revenue Cycle Systems created new ICU patient types to existing beds and helped to set up new nursing stations along new registration areas and COVID-19 charges.
- The Decommissioning team has continued with its responsibility for sunsetting all of our redundant systems so that we have the net budget that allows us to implement Epic.
- Our Security team has kept us safe and prevented events in light of the recent ransomware threats to hospitals around the country.
As the department addressed COVID-19, nine out of RWJBH’s 11 acute care hospitals achieved Level 9 recognition on the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME)’s “Healthcare’s Most Wired” list for 2020. In fact, nine out of the 71 hospitals nationwide that have achieved Level 9 recognition on this list are RWJBH facilities.
“This is quite an accomplishment, going across all of IT,” said Bob Irwin, Chief Information Officer. “It demonstrates that, across the board, we have done extremely well in our Heritage system.”
All of these teams are creating the foundation to lead to a successful transition to RWJBH’s Epic Together project. This is because, in every way, the Epic project is related to, connected to and dependent on the rest of IT. Whether you are working on the Epic project directly or indirectly, you are a part of the Epic team and are critical to Epic Together’s success. Whether you are a part of the formal Epic project team or not, we are all in this together.
When you think of IT&S, please think beyond the help desk or support service. IT&S are an operations service that actively develops the solutions needed to keep our enterprise running. Like our clinical staff, when called to act as the COVID-19 pandemic struck, IT&S responded and delivered. In closing, for this we say Thank You!