FAQs

We're here to answer your questions. If you don't find the information that you are looking for below, send an email to epicquestions@syhealth.org. We will regularly update this page with new questions received by the project team.

This page was last updated on October 3, 2023.

General Project Information

What is Epic?

Epic is an industry-leading electronic health record that helps medical providers efficiently access, organize, store, and share patient information. Over 300 million patients worldwide have an electronic record in Epic.

For 13 years in a row, Epic has been named the best overall software suite by industry experts, leading many to refer to Epic as the “Cadillac” of electronic health records.

Some of the nation’s top healthcare institutions use Epic, such as Cedars Sinai, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Massachusetts General Hospital. Additionally, several of our local partners in San Diego County use Epic. This includes Scripps Health, UCSD Health, Kaiser Permanente, and Rady Children's Hospital.

Why is San Ysidro Health transitioning to Epic?

Epic’s motto is with the patient at heart. This patient-centered approach aligns perfectly with San Ysidro Health’s approach to caring for our patients and communities.

For years, we have heard from dedicated members of Team San Ysidro Health that transitioning to Epic would help unlock the organization's full potential - providing better care for patients, better tools for providers and care teams, and a better system to sustain our operations.

Epic's software suite offers many exciting features and benefits, including those listed below.

Providers rate Epic highest

Best care for patients

Best patient experience

Integrated on one database; no acquisitions

Excellent revenue cycle system with strongest financial outcomes

Outstanding peer group

Deepest and easiest interoperability

Click here to learn more about the power of Epic.

When will the transition to Epic happen?

San Ysidro Health will complete the transition to Epic over the course of the next several months, with go-live planned for October of 2023. Additional timeline details are included below.

Pre-Work (January 2 to March 17)

Workflow Walkthrough/Build & Configuration (March 20 to June 2)

User & System Readiness (June 5 to August 18)

User Training & Preparation for Go-Live (August 21 to October 18)

Go-Live (October 18, then ongoing...)

If you would like to review a more detailed project timeline with specific activities and milestones listed by phase, please click here.

What is HealthLINK?

HealthLINK signifies San Ysidro Health’s belief in the POWER OF ONE system for our enterprise. With Epic as our electronic health record, we can make improvements in how we serve our patients, support our care teams, and run our organization. Leading up to Go-Live, you will see HealthLINK branding on all project communications and after go-live our system will be referred to as HealthLINK.

Who will contribute to the implementation of Epic?

It is important for staff members to understand that this is not an IT project, but rather an organization-wide digital transformation effort.

A successful implementation will require contributions and support from all 2,500 members of Team San Ysidro Health. It won’t be easy, but our collective efforts over these next few months will launch us forward towards a stronger, healthier, and more innovative future for our patients, teams, and organization, allowing us to efficiently and effectively carry out our mission to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve with access for all.

Is the target Go-Live date in mid-October realistic?

SYHealth is currently on track for our planned go-live date on October 18th. As a general rule, Epic does not regularly delay go-live dates for implementation projects and works hard to set realistic timelines up front, so that key milestones are attainable even when minor issues inevitably present during the project lifecycle. We anticipate that we will maintain October 18th as our go-live date.


Project Participation & Governance

Who are the members of the project team?

The core project team has been staffed and is comprised of internal IT and operational employees in various roles. This team started their role-based training in early 2023. San Ysidro Health will also be supported by an experienced implementation team from Epic, who will help guide our project based on established best practices.

The implementation of Epic will impact almost all staff members at San Ysidro Health. When the project kicks off, only select leaders will attend project meetings, but as the implementation progresses, more people will become directly involved in project activities.

Click here to learn more about project participation.

Who will be a part of the governance team?

Several workgroups have been established to connect San Ysidro Health stakeholders and facilitate conversations related to the overall design of our Epic system. Our main advisory councils and workgroups are listed below.

Executive Steering Committee

Clinical Advisory Council (Also known as Clinical Operations Readiness or 'CORe')

Access & Revenue Cycle Advisory Council (Also known as 'ARCR')

PACE Advisory Council

A full list of San Ysidro Health leaders who have been selected to participate on these councils and other workgroups will be posted to the Governance page when available.

If staff members have not already been included on the project and/or governance team(s), are there ways they can support?

Staff members who are not serving as super users or within workgroups will be engaged in later phases as we begin training and preparation for go-live. Visit the Governance Page to learn more about project participation.

Where can staff members send questions and share feedback related to the EPIC transition?

A dedicated inbox has been set-up for questions related to the EPIC transition. Emails can be sent to questions@syhealth.org and a project team member will get back to you with an answer and questions will be added to this FAQ page. Training related questions should be sent to epictraining@syhealth.org.

Will staff members receive regular updates on project progress and next steps in the implementation process?

Yes, an informational newsletter (HealthLINK News) will be distributed to all San Ysidro Health email accounts on a monthly basis. Additionally, this information will be available in hard-copy poster format in SYHealth buildings and reformatted into PowerPoint slides for presentation during meetings.

Click here to access the most recent newsletter content and the HealthLINK Meeting-in-a-Box templates.


PACE

Will San Diego PACE’s transition to Epic follow the same timeline as the rest of the organization?

Please note that the go-live date for San Diego PACE has been delayed.

We are now targeting early-/mid-2024, depending on external contracting discussions. Go-Live for the Central Processing Center (Pharmacy) will also be delayed, given this department's close operational alignment with PACE.

Training will be postponed for all PACE and CPC employees - including super users - and PACE-related implementation workgroups will likely be paused or modified.

Please Note: Some implementation-related work, including system build and data conversion for SD PACE will continue in the coming months while Epic resources are engaged.

If you test out of Epic training, will PACE-specific training still be provided/available?

Yes, where PACE workflows differ from our regular FQHC ambulatory workflows. For more information on test out eligibility, please visit our training page.


Training

When will training take place? Who will get trained?

Training will take place for two months leading up to Go-Live on October 18th. Comprehensive information on training timelines and logistics is included on the training page.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Training is currently on hold for San Diego PACE staff members, while Epic develops a custom training curriculum to meet the unique needs of this important program. More information will be posted regarding PACE training once a new Go-Live date is selected for early-/mid-2024.

Will there be an opportunity to be trained as a superuser? How will super users be selected?

Yes, super users will be selected and trained during the User & System Readiness phase that spans from June 5 to August 18. Super users will be key change champions and will provide 'at-the-elbow' support to other users during go-live. For more information on Super Users, visit the super user page.

Will all clinic locations have a super user?

The number of super user slots will be based on the total number of staff members in certain job roles that require support from super user resources. Scribes will be deployed as additional super user resources, which should cover all SYHealth clinic locations with at least one person.

When will the sandbox/playground environment be accessible to providers who are interested in practicing?

The playground environment will be made available to all users upon completion of their training. For more information on how to access the playground environment, go to our Go-Live Checklist page.



System Build & Functionality

Will providers be able to access Epic from their personal computers? If yes, how?

Yes, providers will be able to access Epic the same way that they currently access NextGen. Providers will log into the 2xweb portal to access the EHR.

Will previous provider notes, labs, and studies be available on Epic?

A comprehensive guide to data availability in Epic is included on our Data Conversion Scope page.

Will there be changes in provider productivity/scheduling during go-live?

Yes, clinical schedules have been reduced for the first 10 days, post-transition, to give care teams more time to adjust to the new system.

Are we considering having an RFID log-in badge available as part of the implementation planning?

Yes, we are working to include this within the implementation scope.

Will individual provider smartphrases be carried over from NextGen into Epic?

Individual provider smartphrases will not be carried over from NextGen into Epic. Providers should make note of their current smartphrases for after the transition.

Will providers be able to log directly back into NextGen after Go-Live?

Providers will have the ability to log directly back into NextGen until 1/1/24.

Can we refer patients who are frequently hospitalized or admitted to local SNFs to the HCBA Waiver Program?

Epic workflows do allow for a closed loop referral process to outside healthcare providers via various tools and Care Everywhere functionality.

With Epic, will we be able to change appointment times based on the type of patient the provider is seeing?

Epic's scheduling module, Cadence, supports the various visit types to have their own encounter time.

Will there be a chance for unique disciplines to have input on Epic templates for assessments or care plans?

Yes, questions or concerns should be escalated within the proper specialty workgroup for discussion. For a list of workgroups, please visit the Participation & Governance page.

Will Epic have an immunotherapy module?

Epic does have an immunotherapy order workflow that allows for vial documentation, serum antigens and formula, starting dose, target dose, and has a free text section for special instructions.

There also is a sidebar report for the immunotherapy prescription order details, as well as an order information report containing details on the antigen and dosing information.

Finally, Epic has an immunotherapy flowsheet that can be built out and a default template in Epic.

Will we have tablets that patients can use for the check-in process or for other questionnaires during visits?

We will be utilizing the Epic Welcome solution for patient check-in and collecting basic demographic information at clinics where higher patient volumes warrant the use of these self-service kiosks. Most longer-term data gathering efforts (questionnaires, surveys, etc.) will be done via the MyChart app on a patient’s mobile device.

Providers have been experiencing some slowness with loading times in NextGen. Is there any concern that this issue will remain or be made worse after the transition to Epic?

System slowness should not be an issue as we will be hosted by Epic at their data center.

Will providers be able to use Epic on their personal phones (through Haiku or other applications)?

Yes, we will have Haiku available. San Ysidro Health may also have Rover available.

Will Epic work on laptops? I heard that it will not work on this type of monitor.

Yes, Epic will work on all standard issue SYHealth laptops!

Are video visits in scope? If so, will this be included as part of training or how will folks get information about this visit type?

Video visits are in scope. Detailed information will be covered in tip sheets/job aids distributed prior to Go-Live.

Will there be information given to providers about Haiku? Will this be rolled out for go-live?

Detailed information will be covered in tip sheets/job aids distributed prior to Go-Live.



IT Support & Reporting

Will there still be support available from IT for San Ysidro Health’s current applications?

IT will be providing legacy support for all applications during our migration to Epic. The support team will be smaller, however, due to the high number of IT resources working on the transition.

The group will have limited bandwidth to support all change requests normally received for NextGen, Dentrix, reporting, etc. As a result, IT will be limiting all change requests to those that are patient safety or regulatory in nature. Requests for new clinical app functionality, system integration, new workflows, etc. will not be processed. If you feel that your request is critical but not related to patient safety or regulatory requirements, IT will review it on an ad hoc basis.

How should staff members go about requesting NextGen reports during the Epic implementation process?

For existing reports that are facing technical issues, staff members should continue to use 6336 for troubleshooting support. It may take the IT team longer than usual to respond, given the reduction in available resources for these support activities.

All new report requests will need to go through the ePMO process for vetting. Additionally, a report request will need to be submitted through 6336.

Most of the data team is fully dedicated to the Epic transition, so all data requests will be vetted at the executive level for alignment with current operational goals, resource allocation, and timing with on-going initiatives. Approval of patient safety, regulatory, or revenue-enhancing data requests will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

What will happen to CAB meetings during the Epic implementation?

CAB meetings are being cancelled as IT shifts focus to the Epic implementation project.

Any change requests will continue to require a Request for Change Form to be submitted to 6336 and will be discussed with executive leadership for approval if they are patient safety, regulatory, or revenue enhancing related.


Miscellaneous

Are we implementing Epic or Epic OCHIN?

We are implementing Epic, not Epic OCHIN.

Featured

Resources

Timeline

The project timeline is divided into several phases with milestones in each. Click below for more information on each phase with an overview of key activities.

Training

Training is an important aspect of the HealthLINK implementation process. Find information on who receives training, when and where it will happen, and more.

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