Clinical Informatics Team
Small team supports “One Patient – One Record”
Maine Behavioral Healthcare recently transitioned our shared electronic health record to better coordinate patient information with the rest of the MaineHealth system. To those outside of the organization, the terms SeHR, Wave 7 and EPIC might not mean much. But, to our employees, they represent months of training, building, learning and transition – all of which would not have been possible without our small-but-mighty Clinical Informatics team.
The Informatics department at MBH is responsible for utilizing information technology to simplify and streamline healthcare data communication throughout the organization and within the MaineHealth system. Their role was to support rollout of the new system, EPIC, which, put simply by Clinical Informatics expert Dan Clark, “is a robust, advanced electronic health record. It will support an integrated approach to care across specialties which will help us achieve one patient one record.”
The transition from our previous health record systems to EPIC was no simple task, and our Clinical Informatics department, made up of two sub-teams, Amy Bragdon and Maria Alberetti handling the hospital setting and Dan Clark and Kristin Whitmore handling outpatient. Colin Lamb, MD, a key leader in the effort. “This was a very complex project given the variety of behavioral health services we provide across a wide geographic region… not to mention confidentiality considerations and unique regulatory requirements in behavioral healthcare.”
Leading up to Epic go-live, the Clinical Informatics team spent hours meeting with clinicians, providers, and leaders to determine needs for a successful launch. Then, their energy shifted to training hundreds of users to prepare for the rollout. Challenges like the pandemic, which forced all training sessions to take place virtually, were met with flexibility. “The occasional appearance of a house pet or child was always an added element of surprise for the trainee and trainer,” noted Alberetti.
When the system went live in February, the team provided support sessions, along with daily check-in meetings across all departments.
Spoiler alert – this team made it happen! Maine Behavioral Healthcare is now part of the system wide electronic health record. However, the work is far from over, and our care team members are fortunate to have continued support from these Clinical Informatics experts. As EPIC credentialed trainers, they will continue to train new staff and support ongoing documentation troubleshooting, both virtually and in-person. According to Kristin Whitmore, LCPC, the department will remain involved in optimization, standardization and education efforts, including “problem solving with leadership to make sure we have the best product possible for our patients and our staff.”