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VCU Health System launches Epic, a new electronic health record that simplifies care navigation for patients
December 01, 2021
CHoR dad looking at phone with daughter on lap

MyChart, the system’s online patient portal, will transform the care experience for patients across the health system.

Beginning Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and VCU Health will go live with Epic, a modern electronic health record widely used by academic health systems, hospitals and large medical practices nationwide. All VCU Health hospitals and clinics are adopting the new system on the same day, with the exception of VCU Health Tappahannock Hospital and its Warsaw location, which will follow in March 2022. 

With Epic, a patient’s health record can easily and securely be shared with other health care providers inside and outside the VCU Health System. This means patients will no longer need to transport their medical records from one provider to the next.

To improve the patient experience even further, many patient-facing platforms will merge into one. VCU Health MyChart, the new online patient portal, will allow patients to conveniently request new appointments, review prescriptions and test results, see price estimates, pay bills, conduct a telehealth appointment and communicate directly with VCU Health providers. Patients will also be able to conveniently access the secure patient portal on their mobile phone after downloading the app from iPhone or Android app stores. This was not possible with the prior system.

“To deliver patient-centered care to everyone, we knew that we needed a fully connected network throughout our entire enterprise,” said Art Kellermann, M.D., senior vice president for health sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University and CEO of VCU Health System. “Epic will help us work more efficiently and strengthen our already excellent patient care. It will also make it easier for our patients and referring physicians to communicate with us. As a result, we’ll make better care decisions in less time — all in partnership with our patients.”

The most noticeable changes for patients include:

  • All future telehealth appointments will be housed directly within VCU Health MyChart. Patients will no longer need a third-party application to join telehealth appointments with participating providers. Patients will also be able to talk to a provider for urgent care needs with no appointment required.
     
  • Billing statements will look different, and charges related to the same visit will be consolidated — meaning fewer, more easily understood bills and an easy way to access them.
     
  • The current My VCU Health patient portal will no longer serve as the patient portal for VCU Health patients after Dec. 4. View-only access of information previously stored in the My VCU Health patient portal will be available for several weeks. To access all benefits of the new system, patients need to sign up for VCU Health MyChart access on or after December 4.

“As a result of switching to Epic, care at VCU Health will be quicker and easier than ever before, and our patient experience will look and feel better than it does today,” said Nathan Cunningham, director of patient experience at VCU Health System. “During the first days and weeks of the transition, we want our patients to know that their service may be a little slower because the system is different from what we had before. That is why we encourage our patients to plan for a little extra time and patience. With months of training ahead of this upgrade, our teams will quickly master the new system. And soon after implementation, our patients will enjoy the benefits of our hard work and dedication to improving their experience.”

The transition will affect all VCU Health System hospitals and clinics in the Greater Richmond area, Fredericksburg, Petersburg, South Hill and Williamsburg. This includes VCU Medical Center, VCU Massey Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and its Brook Road location, as well as VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital and affiliated clinics. 

More than 250 million patients worldwide have a current electronic record in Epic and over 150 million patients use MyChart, making it one of the most widely implemented EHR system in the health care industry.

Sign up for VCU Health MyChart on or after December 4. 

 

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