ROCHELLE – The Rochelle Community Hospital is currently in the midst of a 10-month implementation of a new electronic health record system, said Gregg Olson, CEO of RCH.
The system is called Epic and is manufactured by a company in Wisconsin. Epic doesn’t typically work with smaller hospitals like RCH, but Olson said the hospital was able to acquire the system through Pointcore, a retail division of OSF Healthcare.
“In my opinion and that of a lot of people, Epic is the gold standard,” Olson said. “They control about 67% of the market. I mean 72% of the people in the country have touched Epic in one way or another. They are huge. And they are very good.
The Epic system will replace two electronic health record systems that Olson says were installed at the hospital in 2011 or 2012. One of RCH’s current systems covers hospital operations and the other operates its clinic. Olson said these systems “don’t get along very well.” The clinic and hospital will use Epic after installation.
Olson said reporting to current RCH systems is time consuming and expensive. Epic will also allow RCH to be compatible with other hospitals and medical facilities around the world and the country.
“One press of the keyboard with Epic can send patient information,” Olson said. “Today I have to fax and scan information to these suppliers. Large systems are no longer used to this. It’s just clunky and old school. We are fortunate to have access to a well-designed and user-friendly product for staff and suppliers.
RCH hopes to start using epic on May 1, 2022, which would mark the start of its new fiscal year, Olson said. He said the setup process is “a lot of work” and there are many aspects to it, including the patient care side and the financial side.
“It’s a great thing,” Olson said. “It’s going to be an improvement for our patients. I think we can provide better care. We can have this information at our fingertips. It gives everyone more information about what we’re dealing with and it’s always a better way to be. We know that at the end of the day, when this is done, our employees will be very happy with it. “
Newly graduated and future physicians are trained on Epic, Olson said, 91 percent of them use Epic during residency programs, he said. This could help RCH attract potential employees in the medical field who are used to working with him.
Olson said he was very excited about the ease of applications and the ability to interact with other systems. The Epic system costs RCH “millions” to license, he said.
“It’s a huge investment,” Olson said. “I am so lucky to have such a supportive board. Asking a board of directors to spend millions of dollars is not an easy thing to do. I think we did it the right way and took our time. It took a lot of meetings. “
Olson said RCH is proud to be an independent organization governed locally by its board of directors. But to remain competitive with large hospitals in the region, RCH must remain at the forefront of technology, he said.
“In order for us to continue on our way, to grow and prosper, we have to be there,” Olson said. “We need to be competent, provide excellent service and be compassionate. To do this, we must provide the best products. “