North Mississippi Health Services Launches Epic for Connected Care
Project Connect promotes better care coordination for patients and providers
TUPELO, MS – North Mississippi Health Services launched Epic, the most widely-used and comprehensive health records system, on April 17. NMHS now uses Epic across its regional network of primary and specialty clinics and nursing homes, as well as for its telehealth services. Epic replaced several systems that were in use with a single, integrated platform for connected care, improving the experience for patients and providers.
Before, our clinic providers had to switch between multiple systems, causing frustration and delays,” said David Barber, president of North Mississippi Medical Clinics. “With Epic, all of the information is in one place. Our providers can better care for their patients when they have the information they need at their fingertips.”
“In addition, the launch will enhance care throughout the region as these improvements will be realized by many private physician practices that partner with us through Connected Care Partners,” Barber said.” Through the establishment of a clinically integrated network (CIN), the providers, in partnership with NMHS, have made a collective commitment to performance improvement and quality and safety initiatives.”
Epic is used by a majority of U.S. News and World Report’s top-ranked hospitals and medical schools who are working collaboratively every day to improve patient care, innovate healthcare delivery and achieve financial health. Over half of Mississippi residents already have a record at an organization that uses or is currently installing Epic.
“We’re part of a community of the leading healthcare institutions across the nation, and we’re building on best practices to design a system that’s safe and easy-to-use for patients and providers,” said Jim Weldon, chief information officer at North Mississippi Health Services.
Patients have access to their health history and the ability to manage their care through MyConnection, NMHS’s version of Epic’s MyChart. Patients are encouraged to download the MyConnection app or access www.myconnection.org to schedule appointments, communicate with their providers, order prescription refills, view visit notes and lab results, and more.
“MyConnection is a powerful resource that puts patients in control of their health information and enables them to become an engaged member of the care team,” said Barber. “Patients are now able to manage their care with greater autonomy and convenience.”
All organizations using Epic can exchange data with other interoperable systems, which means that they can easily share patient records for improved patient care. Providers will have the ability to coordinate care with clinicians outside of NMHS who serve their patients and their families, closing care gaps and reducing duplication. As the leader in interoperability, Epic enables providers to easily exchange data for improved continuity of care across the region and the country.
“Epic facilitates communication and collaboration within NMHS clinics, as well with other hospitals and clinics where our patients have received care,” said Ben Kilman, M.D., NMHS chief medical information officer. “That means we can access the records for our patients who have received care while traveling or who have come to NMHS from another organization. We can provide better care when we know a patient’s full story.”
NMHS named their implementation of Epic “Project Connect” because of its mission to connect patients and providers with one another, with other healthcare organizations around the country, and with technology that enables informed care. More than 800 staff members and affiliated providers will have access to Epic as part of Project Connect.
“Our Epic launch is the result of over a year of hard work from the Project Connect team and our providers,” said Weldon. “They designed a system that will streamline care and improve our patients’ and providers’ experience.”
Project Connect was made possible through a partnership with Mercy Technology Services, which provides and manages technology solutions for Mercy, one of the largest Catholic health systems in the nation, and since 2014 extends services to other health care providers.
About North Mississippi Health Services
North Mississippi Health Services is dedicated to being the provider of the best patient- and family-centered care. NMHS connects patients and their families with convenient access to care that is cost efficient and of the highest quality. NMHS provides acute, diagnostic, therapeutic and emergency services, with the sole trauma center (Level 2) in our service area, through North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. The health care system also includes community hospital locations in Amory, Eupora, Iuka, Pontotoc and West Point, Miss., and Hamilton Ala., a regional network of more than 45 primary and specialty clinics; nursing homes and telehealth services.
NMHS serves 24 counties in north Mississippi and northwest Alabama from headquarters in Tupelo, Miss. NMHS is a 2012 recipient of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and NMMC, its flagship hospital, is a 2006 Baldrige Award recipient.