Friday, November 15, 2013

Partners eCare: Redesigning how the MGH delivers care

The MGH is in the process of redesigning how it delivers world-class care to improve the health of its patients while also enhancing affordability of care by implementing a new enterprise medical record system. Called Partners eCare, this new system supports all aspects of the MGH mission, including research, education, patient care and community-based outreach.

As 2013 draws to a close, training and preparations for the first phase of the Partners eCare launch continue to expand throughout the hospital. In preparation for the system’s launch, MGH Hotline will publish a series of articles highlighting the project.

What is Partners eCare?
Partners eCare is a part of Partners HealthCare’s Strategic Initiative aimed at fulfilling the pledge to deliver the highest quality care to patients that is safe, effective, accessible and affordable. The goal of the Partners eCare initiative is to enable more efficient, more coordinated, more advanced patient care through the implementation of an integrated, enterprisewide electronic health and administrative information system across the Partners network by 2017. Once fully launched, the system will enable information to securely and seamlessly flow throughout the Partners network.

What is the goal of Partners eCare?
The guiding principle of Partners eCare is “one patient, one record, one team, one Partners statement.” It will help the MGH improve coordination, reduce duplication of care, avoid unnecessary tests and engage patients in their own care. The hospital expects patients to see and feel a more seamless flow of clinical and administrative information at the MGH and among other Partners member institutions and affiliates.

When will the MGH begin using the new system?
The MGH is one of the first hospitals in the Partners network to begin using Partners eCare. For the MGH, it will launch in two phases:

The first phase is the “revenue cycle” portion. This phase will replace current systems that support administrative tasks such as registration, scheduling, admissions, coding and billing. The revenue cycle portion of Partners eCare is expected to go live in July 2014.

The second phase in the Partners eCare launch is the clinical portion of the system, which will go live in early 2016. This includes outpatient and inpatient medical records and physician order entries, as well as dedicated applications for departments ranging from Pharmacy and Radiology to Obstetrics and Oncology. By supporting the day-to-day work of the hospital’s clinical departments and programs, the clinical implementation of Partners eCare will help patient care teams manage high-risk patients, reduce readmissions, and better coordinate mental health, palliative care and other patient needs. Revenue cycle and clinical systems will tie these functions and information together for the benefit of patients, caregivers and the MGH.

What is the MGH doing right now to prepare for Partners eCare?
During the past year, hundreds of MGH nurses, physicians and administrative professionals have had the opportunity to share their expertise to help guide, build and strengthen the new single patient record. Over the next several months staff will participate in testing exercises to ensure the system meets their needs and those of their patients. A major focus also will be on revenue cycle training for the many staff members who will be using the system in the coming months.

Why is it important to make these changes?
The MGH remains dedicated to delivering world-class care to improve the health of its patients while also enhancing the affordability of that care. Partners eCare is one step in this process. It will help to improve care coordination and support the nation’s urgent health care quality and cost imperatives.

Who will be affected by the Partners eCare implementation?
It is important to know that the entire MGH community will have a role in Partners eCare. While this will have a more direct impact on clinicians and administrative professionals, all staff should keep well informed to ensure a smooth transition and to respond to any questions from patients, their families and the local community.

How can I keep updated on Partners eCare?
Partners eCare has launched a new website at The site features information specific to the MGH, as well as information regarding Partners eCare and Epic, the primary vendor for the Partners eCare system. Subscribe to the Partners eCare newsletter by visiting the website and clicking on the “Sign up for news” box under the “What’s new” tab. 

Read more articles from the 11/15/13 Hotline issue.

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