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VPMA Voice

By now, I hope that everyone on the UI Health Care team is aware that we will “go live” with our full electronic medical record and order entry system beginning
May 2. (See story below.)

Patient safety and quality of care is our first priority–and this new clinical information system (Epic) will improve both significantly. We’ve been planning and training for this implementation since 2007, and as we move forward with the conversion, we ask for your whole-hearted support and cooperation.

I congratulate everyone who has been working so hard to bring Epic to life for our organization. The dedication of our Health Care Information Systems teams, nurses, physicians, and hundreds of our staff members from all the supporting departments, has been extraordinary. I thank you for your enthusiasm and spirit of working together and, most of all, for your singular dedication to putting patients first.

Also we have extended the deadline for faculty and staff to sign up for the voluntary expense reduction programs. (See story below.) Last week we were all inspired by a letter and significant financial contribution from John W. Colloton, Director Emeritus of UI Hospitals and Clinics. In the letter he expressed a confidence that I also share…that staff and faculty will show “the same solid support of these voluntary programs that the UI Health Care family has continuously given their leaders over many decades.”

Please continue to e-mail me at vpma@uiowa.edu.


Signed, Jean Robillard

Epic “go live” starts May 2

Beginning this weekend, UI Hospitals and Clinics will “go live” with the rollout of Epic, the new electronic medical record and order-entry system for all patient care and ancillary services. The conversion to Epic means not only a paperless medical record system but also significant advances in patient safety and confidentiality, provider access, order entry, and other aspects of patient care.

The conversion to Epic comes after many months of design and consultation, preparation, training, and feedback involving thousands of UI Health Care faculty and staff members. Last February marked a successful conversion to Epic for inpatient pharmacy, medication administration, and ICU flow sheets. This weekend’s “go live” marks the next major step in Epic implementation.

It’s important to note that conversion to Epic is not the end, but the beginning of the move toward a comprehensive, electronic medical record system. The system will continue to be fine-tuned with appropriate features that will be available after the conversion. Communications about Epic-related issues and updates will be provided frequently. If you have questions or need additional information, visit The Point, or contact the Epic Command Center at 356-0001, or Epic@healthcare.uiowa.edu.

Key points:

  • Faculty and staff members who already have completed Epic training are encouraged to visit the “Epic Playground” to gain experience using Epic software
  • Faculty and staff members who will use Epic should consult the “Super Users” in their departments or units with questions or concerns
  • Beginning May 2, the default Web home page on UI Hospitals and Clinics computer workstations will be set to the Epic “Tips, Tricks, and FAQs” page on The Point
  • Talking points are available on The Point for faculty and staff members to use in responding to patient and visitor questions about the new Epic system
  • Flyers informing patients and visitors about the Epic conversion have been placed in inpatient units, clinics, and clinic exam rooms. Informational posters will be displayed near main public elevators

Forum today

Everyone working, volunteering, or learning with UI Health Care is invited to attend the Regents Meeting Preview Forum today, from noon to 1 p.m. in the East Room, Elevator F, Level 8. UI Health Care leaders will preview items on the agenda for the April 29 Board of Regents meeting in Iowa City. There will also be an update on the voluntary expense reduction programs and other announcements.

Voluntary programs deadline extended

The deadline for staff and faculty to sign up for the Voluntary Temporary Reduction in Pay or Voluntary Vacation Give Back programs has been extended until 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 6. For more information on the programs, go to The Point, or ask human resources representatives.

As of Friday, April 24, 361 staff and faculty have signed up for the programs, for a total contribution of $857,203. Faculty and staff interested in participating in the programs must submit their application forms to Carver College of Medicine Human Resources 268 (CMAB) or Hospital Human Resources (C110 GH), or online through Self Service.

Medicare approves transplant programs

University of Iowa Health Care has received letters of approval from the Medicare Program to participate in the following organ transplant programs: adult and pediatric hearts; adult and pediatric kidneys; adult livers; adult pancreas; and adult lungs.

College receives high rankings

U.S.News & World Report last week announced its rankings of the nation’s graduate programs and colleges. Rankings for UI Carver College of Medicine programs as compared to other public universities were: Physician Assistant Program (1); Physical Therapy (3); Primary Care (10); Rural Medicine (10); and Research (31).

Writing conference this week

April 29 through May 1, the UI Carver College of Medicine hosts “The Examined Life: Writing and the Art of Medicine,” a conference focusing on the links between creative writing and medical education and patient care. The conference is open to anyone with an interest in creative or reflective writing and medicine. More information is available on the UI Carver College of Medicine Web site.


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