Heard on the Street

Thoughts on Epic

The clock has run out and Epic is in full effect across The Johns Hopkins Hospital and JHCP practices. After months of preparation and training, employees are experiencing firsthand how the new electronic medical record system operates.

In the days leading up to the rollout, employees shared how they prepared for Epic before the go-live launch and how the new electronic medical record system will change the way that they do their jobs.  They weighed in again after the April 4 launch. For some, things weren’t as bad as they thought they would be; others had a more anxious time. A group of employees share their thoughts from before implementation—and after.


Michael Boland, Assistant Professor, Wilmer Eye Institute and Health Sciences

Before: “As a physician champion, I have been in training for the past year. We sent out multiple communications encouraging everyone in our department to practice in the playground; we created a streamed video of how to get through the Epic process from registration to the physician checkup; and we did a live demo of the entire clinical encounter. No one in our department can have the excuse that they aren’t ready for Epic. The experience will be difficult early on, but it will get easier.”

After: “Everyone needs to spend considerable time engaging in structured practice in the playground environment to get familiar with all of the different features. Most features worked as expected and just as they did in the playground environment. My efficiency will clearly increase as I use the system, but overall everything went well.”


Heather CrabbApplications Specialist, JHCP Information Systems

Before: “I have spent a little over 40 hours training and reviewing for Epic. I think I’m ready! I’m really excited to work with Epic and to be able to assist all of the patients quicker and easier.”

After: “It went really well. Of course there are the small little hiccups and things that need to be ironed out, but generally speaking it went very well. Just be patient with both the system and yourselves.”


Letitia Dzirasa, Pediatrician, JHCP at Odenton

Before: “I was designated as the pediatric provider super-user, so I will be assisting clinicians and clinical staff in the transition to Epic. I think Epic will make my job easier in the long run. I also think it will be easier to communicate with other providers at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Association of American Medical Colleges, which will be great.”

After: “It was hectic. Very chaotic, to be honest with you. There were a lot of glitches in the system that we were trying to figure out. It is a little bit better today.”


Sarah McGeehan, Medical Office Assistant, JHCP at Greater Dundalk

Before: “I was already using Epic in my previous job, so I was able to remain calm to help my co-workers. I also went to training classes to refresh my memory and to learn anything new. I am a little nervous to fully go to Epic on April 4. I feel that we are not completely prepared for some aspects of our day-to-day tasks, but I am excited to be back on Epic and to be able to work in one system.”

After: “The first day of Epic was a little crazy here. Having a background working in Epic helped me a lot, and I was able to help everyone else with different things we were not taught in training. I feel as though anxiety was high in our office creating more tension and problems than was necessary. I think our first day went pretty well though overall.”


Heidi Marks, Registered Nurse, Ambulatory Care/ Internal Medicine, JHCP at White Marsh

Before: “I prepared for Epic by maintaining a positive attitude regarding change, generalized classroom training, asking many questions, utilizing super-users for tips and tricks, group discussions with co-workers and several sessions of ‘play time’ in the Epic playground.”

I also feel as a whole, this switch over was very unorganized. I feel there are too many unknowns and we have to figure things out as we go along. I feel that not only our site, but other sites, would benefit from more job-specific training, more support from people who know this system inside and out and some ‘dry-run’ sessions of how this system will flow day to day. In the long run, my general feeling is that Epic will be a positive feature in helping with the flow of day-to-day work.”

After: “Chaos at first! Workflow became easier with repetition. I definitely felt like I was walking in blind, but I survived. My advice is to just breathe! You can make it through with a little patience. Have several super-users and Epic support personnel on hand for each department. Expect bugs and a lot of troubleshooting. It’s definitely a work in progress.”


Nicholene Burgess, Medical Office Assistant, JHCP Odenton

Before: “Epic will change the way that I work by allowing me to only have to work in one software program—not two. I can now be in a software program that will allow me to check-in a patient and allow me to look to see if they have a referral, lab order, etc., without having to go to another program to get that information."


How was your experience with the implementation of the electronic medical record system? Leave a comment below.

—Stephanie Price and Lorilei Barsh

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }


alexrobinson May 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm

We did it!


paul dalisay May 16, 2013 at 10:29 am

i hope the font color here could be readable (i suggest white color) as opposed to dark-colored font on a dark background : )


Catherine Parrish MD April 17, 2013 at 11:12 am

We need referrals to print out with the information patients need to schedule appts with specialists ! Currently we are hand writing in that info . The database is in Centricity and needs to be transferred !


Kathleen Broman April 17, 2013 at 10:48 am

The print on the patients id bracelets is so small to read in the OR that it takes longer to read.
There has to be away to increase the font and boldness of the info on the bracelet.
The old id bracelets were very easy to read for time out.


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