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Piedmont Athens Regional Launches Epic Electronic Medical Records System

Athens, Ga. (August 3, 2018) – Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center launched Epic, the most widely-used and comprehensive health records system in the United States, to provide a platform for integrated care and ensure patients have convenient digital access to their health information.

The new system stores health information from across the Piedmont Healthcare system in one electronic medical chart, so each patient has only one comprehensive medical record in Epic, no matter which Piedmont hospital, doctor’s office or clinic he or she visits.

The launch came following 18 months of preparation, training around 5,000 clinicians and other hospital staff for the switch. To help with the launch, around 130 volunteers from other Piedmont hospitals who are already familiar with Epic provided at-the-elbow support for Piedmont Athens Regional.

“We are happy to offer a new level of convenience to our patients for their healthcare needs,” said Charles Peck, M.D., president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Piedmont Athens Regional. “Doctors will now be able to pull up a patient’s medical history quickly and know about current medications, allergies and other essential patient information. That kind of transparency and communication is crucial to caring for our patients and helping them stay healthy.”  

In addition, patients, as well as their designated caregivers, seen at Piedmont Athens Regional can use Epic’s online patient portal, MyChart, for personalized and secure online access to their health information. MyChart lets patients communicate with providers, schedule appointments, refill prescriptions, and more. It’s now also easier for patients to receive care with a Piedmont doctor or at Piedmont QuickCare locations through online and on-the-go appointment booking.  

“The convenience of MyChart is a game-changer for our patients across northern Georgia,” said Jason Smith, chief operations officer (COO) at Piedmont Athens Regional. “They’ll be able to check on their latest test results and make online appointments as easily as they can check the weather on their phone. It gives our patients the tools they need to be active participants in their own wellness.”

Epic was rated Best in KLAS in January 2017 for the seventh consecutive year. Piedmont first began implementing Epic in some of its locations in 2012. A majority of U.S. News and World Report’s top-ranked hospitals and medical schools, including those in Georgia, are already using Epic, working collaboratively every day to improve patient care, innovate healthcare delivery and achieve financial health.

More than half of all Georgia residents currently or will soon have a record in Epic when all planned installs are complete, and it’s estimated that 200 million people in the United States, nearly two-thirds of the population, have an Epic medical chart.

All organizations using Epic interoperate, which means that they can easily exchange patient data for improved patient care. Providers will have the ability to coordinate care with clinicians outside of Piedmont who serve their patients and their families, closing care gaps and reducing duplication.

“Using Epic means that providers will have access to a patient’s full story, whether they were seen here at Piedmont Athens Regional, another Piedmont location, or even at other providers in Georgia or across the country, regardless of which system they use,” said Dr. Peck. “We’ve seen great engagement across the board, from our physicians and nurses to our scheduling and registration staff, throughout the implementation of this new system. That preparation paid off, and we thank everyone for their patience, as we worked to ensure our patients continue to receive the highest quality of care during our transition.”

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