Excitement is rising as we get closer to the implementation of the new electronic health record (EHR). This is the biggest financial investment in the history of Alameda Health System and it will allow us to provide better care for the future. Many staff have questions about what to expect and our Chief Information Officer Mark Amey has some thoughts on this.

“I’ve been through two epic implementations previously so I understand the thoughts and feelings of apprehension surrounding the unknown. What I know for sure is having a positive outlook is critical to be able to do your best during our transition.”

Currently staff are using multiple EHR systems and some are still taking notes by hand. A common question is how easy or hard will S·A·P·P·H·I·R·E be to use. The answer is that every change is difficult. However, the end result will help us to fully accomplish our mission.

“Even when change is good for you it can still be challenging. Think about going to the gym for the first day and exercising. That change is hard, but it’s worth it. Fortunately, the Epic system is designed with the clinician and patient first. Epic engineers spent significant time refining the system in an attempt to reduce the number of mouse clicks you need to get your job done. However, the S·A·P·P·H·I·R·E project cannot be successful if we all do not embrace the system, the training and the work that goes into the change.”

While the S·A·P·P·H·I·R·E team continues to tailor the EHR system for the needs of AHS there will be three batches of training happening April through August for; credential trainers, super users and regular end users. The S·A·P·P·H·I·R·E team is currently looking for super users and if anyone is interested they should connect with their managers.

“This training is going to be intense for some. We are going to ask qualified staff to temporarily step away from the bedside, billing and admitting and learn new tools, but we are investing in ourselves with this training! Once S·A·P·P·H·I·R·E is up and running, it will allow us to serve our patients better. We will have better processes and better outcomes. It will also allow us to account accurately for the work we do and will allow the patient to become an integral part of their patient care experience. If there is one thing I want staff to take away as we continue on this journey it is that everyone has the ability to be a change agent and lead the way for system transformation.”