Almost a month into the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., health systems are continuing to roll out health IT support for their coronavirus responses. Mercy’s Epic EHR team has worked hard to stay ahead of the curve. By stepping up efforts to implement and refine Epic’s Travel Advisory module, they were able to offer a key tool to providers in the early phases of the outbreak.
“We’d already begun working on Travel Advisory,” said David Hering, Epic integration lead for MTS. As reports started coming in about the spread of coronavirus, David said, “it was apparent from the get-go we were going to need it a lot sooner than expected.”
Thanks to the team’s accelerated efforts and additional help from Mercy’s infectious disease and quality and safety teams, Travel Advisory went live in January for all Mercy facilities and MTS’ commercial clients.
Designed to aid in the processing of patients with communicable diseases (including MERS and ebola), the tool is used by registrars, clinical co-workers and providers to identify potential COVID-19 patients at check in or first contact. It also integrates with the MyChart / MyMercy, patient portal, letting patients indicate their symptoms before coming to participating facilities.
Since then, the scope for COVID-19 screening has expanded beyond recent travel history, so MTS remains hard at work, prepping additional tools for care teams' efforts to help manage the challenges of the outbreak for the good of our patients, caregivers and communities.