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An EPIC Achievement: August 17, 2014

An epic undertaking has become an epic achievement.  As part of the Affordable Care Act, health providers were mandated to transition to electronic health records or face penalties.

“So we have a stick. But the carrot was an important carrot, to try to get everybody to have electronic health records that could speed the dialogue of health care,” says Jim Nathan, President and CEO of Lee Memorial Health System.

Lee Memorial Health System launched the switch in 2011, choosing the EPIC system in going paperless.

“We can do chart review so that we can look up any previous visits that they had,” says Nathan.

As of today, all of the health system’s hospitals and most of its doctor’s offices use e-records. Meant to streamline care, the record follows the patient through all health care settings.

E-records should reduce medical errors and avoid duplication of tests and procedures. But it also offers patient benefits, giving people access to their own health history.

“MyChart is a patient portal for patients to actually look at their medical record online and it allows the patient to see lab results, imaging results, to exchange messages with their physicians, to request appointments and to look at their history and medication list. They can request refills - it’s really a pretty cool thing,” says Dr. Leah Lynch, an internal medicine physician with Lee Memorial Health System.

Years of work are paying off- putting a lifetime of health care at your fingertips