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VPMA Voice

With each new day, headlines on the economic picture–locally, regionally, nationally, and globally–seem to grow increasingly dire. It is hard to stay positive–even for an eternal optimist like me–but I firmly believe it is important to take a long view and focus on the inevitability of a brighter future.

This is especially true of our mission, and I believe what we have done in the past two years to integrate the hospital and the college as UI Health Care affords us the ability to be resilient in ways that were not possible before. By leveraging our collective strengths and working together, we can weather this challenging time.

We are fortunate that our patient volumes have remained strong, but our expenses continue to outpace revenues in an unsustainable manner. We must remain vigilant in looking for opportunities to reduce expenses, grow revenue, and operate more efficiently. We need your continued help toward that end, and I encourage you to keep the good ideas coming via e-mail.

We are also doing many things that position us well for achieving new heights of excellence, like implementing the Epic clinical information system. A little over a week ago we had a successful go-live of three key modules (see story below). The hard work and dedication of countless faculty and staff were key to the go-live success, and is precisely the kind of teamwork and collaboration I believe will see us through difficult times.

Signed, Jean Robillard

Epic update

February 8 go-live successful

At last week’s UI Health Care Update Forums, Lee Carmen, associate vice president for Information Systems, reported that the February 8 Epic go-live for inpatient pharmacy, medication administration, and ICU nursing documentation was very successful. He credited the outstanding coordination and teamwork of the Epic Implementation Team and clinicians involved, saying everyone was very positive and committed to the success of the project. Working out of the command center in the Atrium Dining area, the Epic Implementation Team continues to support clinicians as they use the new systems in intensive care units, on other inpatient units, and in inpatient pharmacies.

Big Bang on May 2

The next activation of Epic systems–known as the Big Bang–is less than 80 days away on Saturday, May 2. Prior to that, 8,500 staff and faculty will be trained on the full electronic medical record and order entry system at the Training Theater located in downtown Iowa City.

e-Learnings available also

In addition to required hands-on computer-based training, staff and faculty can take advantage of Epic e-Learnings–a self-paced method to become familiar with Epic systems. Under the Clinical Documentation category, there are 25 e-Learnings to support inpatient and outpatient care. Under the category of Reporting, there is a step-by-step workflow on the Reporting Workbench and Editing My Reports. These provide an excellent review of the reporting capabilities within Epic.

e-Learnings created by Epic have a sound file imbedded and are supported while on-site. Those created by UI Hospitals and Clinics (black/gold background) can be viewed on-site and off-site. Find the e-Learning lessons online.

For more details about the Epic project, read the Epic Newsletter on The Point. Questions may be directed to epic@healthcare.uiowa.edu.

Looking ahead

Regents meeting

UI Health Care leaders are preparing for meetings with the Board of Regents on Wednesday, March 18, for strategic planning and to provide the UI Health Care Committee report.

Highlights of the committee report will be shared at the next UI Health Care Update Forum on Thursday, March 5, at noon in the Ziffren Conference Room, 1502 Roy J. Carver Pavilion. Look for more details in broadcast e-mail announcements, the Noon News, and on The Point.

Speaking of Excellence lecture

Steven A. Wartman, MD, PhD, President and CEO of the Association of Academic Health Centers, will provide the next Speaking of Excellence lecture at 12 Noon, Tuesday, March 10, in the East Room, UI Hospitals and Clinics, Elevator F, Level 8.

Speaking of Excellence is a lecture series sponsored by University of Iowa Health Care that invites outstanding leaders and innovators in health care, business, and policy to address current issues in modern health care.

Dr. Steven Wartman became the third president of the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC) in July 2005. Based in Washington, D.C., the AAHC seeks to advance the nation’s health and well-being through vigorous leadership of the nation’s academic health centers.

Prior to 2005, Dr. Wartman held leadership positions in academic medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Brown University, and Rhode Island Hospital. A graduate of Cornell University, he received his MD and PhD degrees from Johns Hopkins University.

He is a board certified internist, sociologist, and a Master of the American College of Physicians. His publications and interests lie in the structure and function of academic health centers, health care delivery, health policy, medical education, and academic leadership. Currently, he is also a distinguished professor at Georgetown University and an adjunct professor of medicine at George Washington and Johns Hopkins universities.

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