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‘Next chapter’ newsletter – June 2020

Last week kicked off the June go-live for ambulatory clinics, and we
experienced a smooth implementation with fewer challenges than expected. This can be attributed to the level of commitment and collaboration of all the team members working on the project. Thank you to everyone for your patience, flexibility and hard work!

Be sure to visit for updates and information on
Ballad Health’s Epic implementation.

Daily June go-live updates can be found on the Communications page of
the Epic intranet site


• ATE support – At-the-elbow support.
• Smart phrases (also known as dot phrases) – Short phrases beginning
with a dot/period that insert data or text into Epic users’ notes.
• Top 10 at 10 – During the June go-live, meetings are held each day at 10 a.m. to make note of current successes and opportunities.
Click here for a guide to Epic acronyms and applications.

Progress notes

The Provider Readiness Team (PRT) reviewed several high-risk workflows and mitigation strategies and presented them at the Operational Summit on May 19. The Operational Summit and the 120-day GLRA (Go-Live Readiness Assessment) were well-attended, well-presented and very productive. Overall preparations for go-live are on track.

The PRT is hopeful in-person medical staff meetings, and other opportunities to present important information to providers about the October go-live, will resume soon.

Important upcoming dates:
• June 1-July 10 – Training registration for October go-live
• July 27–Sept. 29 – End user training

All changes to Soarian, Allscripts and Epic are frozen until after go-live unless there is an issue involving one
of the following:
• Patient safety
• Regulatory requirement
• Significant financial impact

ARC insight

Thank you and congratulations! Our June go-live has been reason to celebrate!

It’s been a long journey, but a truly rewarding one. Time and time again, Ballad Health has embraced our guiding principles, putting our patients and safety first, and working as one Ballad Health team.

• May 8, 2020: We completed our appointment conversion for the June go-live. Our team was challenged with converting more than 23,000 appointments while complying with physical distancing, but the teamwork was so strong, we were able to complete the conversion in a single day!

• June 1, 2020: On our first day of go-live, we were able to send claims with a 97% acceptance rate. It’s not expected to send claims on day one, and it’s certainly not expected to have a 97% acceptance rate. This is a remarkable example of working as one Ballad Health team, because in order to have claims to send, we need to have several streams of error-free workflows, including:
–– Patients registered and checked in
–– Encounters completed and closed
––Charges posted

Vital signs

October go-live
• The Operational Readiness Summit was conducted on May 19 with great attendance. Readiness owners reviewed the clinical, provider and revenue cycle high-risk workflows outlining risks, impacts, measures of success and mitigation plans. Owners will continue to discuss monitoring metrics and mitigation plan implementation.
• EUAT (End User Acceptance Testing) + Pilot Training update: Sessions began on May 18, and more than 20 sessions
were conducted during a two-week period. Participants included clinicians, providers and revenue cycle team members who were given the opportunity to complete practice workflow scenarios in the Epic environment. They provided feedback for evaluation of training courses to ensure its delivery was effective.
• Preference card training and build status: Training started on May 19 for selected surgical team members, and building has begun. The goal is to have all preference cards built and reviewed prior to the October go-live; more than 7,200 cards were imported into PRD for review.
• New devices have been delivered to Dickenson Community Hospital, Franklin Woods Community Hospital, Johnson County Community Hospital, Norton Community Hospital, Russell County Hospital and Smyth County Community Hospital. Plans to deploy Epic at remaining Ballad Health facilities are currently in progress.

Epic veteran updates

Order set alignment is almost complete and aligned order sets should be in production by July 31.

All changes to Soarian, Allscripts and Epic will be frozen until after go-live, unless there is an issue surrounding one of
the following:
• Patient safety
• Regulatory requirement
• Significant financial impact

All aboard!

June 2020 Epic Big Bang Update
Wow, we did it! Congratulations to everyone on the successful June 2020 Epic implementation in Ballad Health ambulatory and urgent care clinics. A big thank-you goes out to everyone who assisted with getting team members and providers to training. This was no easy feat. Ballad Health’s education team literally pulled off training for a “big bang” implementation in the middle of a pandemic. It truly took a united effort to complete this task. We could not have completed this initiative without each and every one of you, so pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Communicate questions and concerns about the go-live to the Epic Command Center Help Desk at 423.431.6290 and press 5 for go-live.

October 2020 Epic Big Bang Initiative
The October 2020 Epic Big Bang go-live will be here in around 100 days.
Keys to implementation success:

  1. Complete all e-Learnings prior to attending class.
  2. Attend all role-specific classes within your learning track.
  3. Complete all post-training exercises in Epic Playground.
  4. Complete all post-training tests (when applicable).
  5. Attend LEAP and Personalization Labs prior to the go-live date.

Mark these important dates on your calendars:
• October 2020 Epic class registration opened May 18 and needs to be completed by July 10.
• Super User orientation classes will be held virtually June 8-26.
–– Log in to HealthStream and click “To Do” list.
––Click on the Epic Super User Orientation – October go-live (e-Learnings).
–– There are five short videos you will need to complete within the Epic Super User Orientation course.
• Individuals selected to serve in a Credentialed Trainer role begin training on June 15.
• Super Users’ role-specific classes begin July 27.
• Epic training for all end users: Aug. 10-Sept. 18.

Stay tuned – more information about training will be posted in future newsletters.

Questions about Epic training? Email

Super Users’ spot

To the Super Users who provided ambulatory go-live support, thank you very much. We truly appreciate your willingness to help your teammates during the Epic implementation.

If your manager submitted your name to be a Super User, this will be an ongoing role; we will send you information related to changes in Epic that will need to be shared with your departments.

The acute go-live is Oct. 1. Your manager should have you signed up for your virtual Super User orientation class, which will be held June 8-26. If you have not been signed up for this class, please reach out to your manager for more information.

Because we want you to have more class time to practice, the first role-specific classes will begin on June 27. You will repeat this training again closer to the end of role-specific classes on Sept. 18. The final class will
be Super User Readiness and Access, which will also be a virtual class and should be taken by all Super Users, including those with Epic experience.

Epic expose

Each month, we feature Ballad Health teams and team members who have a direct impact on the Epic implementation.

Ballad Health Medical Associates’ Regional Directors

The successful June 1 Epic go-live was the culmination of lots of hard work by many Ballad Health teams, especially the Ballad Health Medical Associates’ regional directors. Their coordinated efforts, patience and flexibility prepared their ambulatory clinics for the smooth transition to the Epic EHR platform.

Check out this Q&A from the regional directors:
Q. June 1 marked the first day that about 80 Ballad Health Medical Associates clinics went live. How do you predict being on the Epic platform will change how the clinics operate?
A. Epic will allow our clinics to operate more efficiently and allow us to take better care of our patients and their needs.
Q. What changes can team members look forward to with the
transition to Epic?

A. Team members can look forward to easier and faster access to patient information, as well as improved reliability and ability to grow and adapt to the needs of our organization.
Q. How will our patients benefit from visiting clinics that
use Epic?

A. Patients will benefit from faster service when visiting our facilities, as well as unprecedented access to lab results, bill payments and communication with their PCP and specialists.
Q. Overall, how would you say the June go-live went?
A. Go-live was a definite success, especially given the scope and magnitude of the project. Thanks to lots of preparation, training and support, patients have still been able to receive the proper level of care they deserve when they walk into our office.
Q. What are some positive things you heard team members say
about the Epic Command Center?

A. “The Command Center has done a remarkable job of addressing issues quickly, and response time has been amazing.” “I really appreciate not only their hard work, but also their positive attitudes and patience when issues have arisen.” “This has been a pleasant surprise, and I can’t say enough about the support we’ve received.” “A lot of work on the front end created a smooth transition. The adoption by the providers has made this a seamless transition.” “The onsite Super User and ATE support has been very helpful; this is shown by the ticket volume being very low, and the issues that are coming to the analysts are the more genuinely complex questions that
can’t be resolved in the clinic.” “The Command Center attitude was extremely positive, almost acting like our socially-distanced cheerleaders. They were complimentary of all the offices, bragging on how well we were doing for so early in go-live. That trickled down through the office leadership and into our team members’ attitudes on the front lines.”

Epic fun fact

A build was completed in Epic to assist our clinical staff with the ongoing study involving treating patients with plasma from donors with COVID-19 antibodies.

Be sure to visit the site for announcements and past newsletters!
Questions about Epic? Email

Contact Us. We’re Listening.

Contact Us. We’re Listening.