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An "Epic" Scale: Marshall Upgrades Patient Medical Records System

Nov. 2, 2017 — Marshall has big expectations for its new electronic medical records (EMR) system. Implemented on Nov. 1, the Epic® program comes with the potential to match its name.

Marshall previously used separate systems to house inpatient and outpatient records. By combining the two, the $15 million investment – a partnership with UC Davis Health nearly two years in the making – creates a safer and more efficient patient record structure. It signifies Marshall’s commitment to better patient care.

“This is one of the most exciting and impactful projects we have ever taken on,” Marshall CEO James Whipple said. “The implications are significant. This technological upgrade will transform our patients’ healthcare experience for the better.”

Epic ensures real-time delivery of patient data to Marshall’s clinicians, who will track and retrieve information with greater ease and accuracy.

Housing patient records in a single system – one considered “best-in-class” by industry standards – protects a patient’s privacy and safety. Inaccurate or incomplete record-keeping can lead to costly and harmful errors: a physician ordering duplicate lab tests or diagnostic services, or even prescribing the wrong medication. Epic guards against such mistakes.

“What you want is in one place. It’s streamlined,” said Loni Jay, MD, of Marshall Sierra Primary Medicine in Placerville. “The information is all there. It’s less work. It gives you more patient-time and less back-and-forth.”

For patients, Epic’s MyChart patient portal gives 24/7 access to medical records. It allows for online access to pay bills, request appointments, and view test results. The upgrades coincide with another important launch: Marshall unveiled a redesigned website on Nov. 1.

MyChart promotes more than just convenience and improved communication.
It encourages healthy living by engaging patients in their care. Marshall will be able to send electronic reminders to patients for upcoming or recommended appointments and tests. A recent study found 90 percent of patients who have online access to test results feel they have a better understanding of their medical condition, according to Epic Systems Corporation.

“I’m very excited. I’m hoping patients take a bigger role in their care,” said Lance Holtry, DO, of Marshall Family Medicine in El Dorado Hills.

Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, UC Davis Health all use the Epic platform. Epic gives these providers better health record-access for patients they share with Marshall.

The system is built to add improvements over time. In 2018, Phase 2 of the Epic implementation will unlock more capabilities. It’s an ambitious undertaking, and not just in name only.

Marshall is an independent, nonprofit community healthcare provider located in the heart of the Sierra Foothills. Marshall includes Marshall Hospital, a fully accredited acute care facility with 125 beds in Placerville; several outpatient facilities in Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills and Georgetown; and many community health and education programs. Marshall has over 200 physicians and over 1,500 employees providing quality healthcare services to over 180,000 residents of El Dorado County.