Interoperability and Population Health: Working Across Disparate Systems to Impact Care Delivery
Article Mar 29, 2021
By Kris Gillen, Tegria Program Manager
I talked to several people following UGM 2018 and from a nursing perspective, the updates to Rover and introduction of the Brain seem to be the two things that caught most people’s attention.
The Brain is Epic’s solution to the piece of paper nurses carry around to remind them of significant nursing tasks. It is a one-stop shop for nurses and can include required documentation, medication, dressing changes, assessments, and other tasks necessary to provide comprehensive care to their patients.
When I was a nurse at the bedside, I had one piece of paper divided into the number of patients I was assigned to and it included pertinent information for their care for the shift. If a nurse lost his or her piece of paper—or “brain”—they would literally be lost.
When you Google “nurse’s brain,” you’ll find a bevy of posts with suggestions on how to configure your sheet, when to use your sheet, examples for the myriad types of sheets, and even a database.
But what about the EHR? Nobody is talking about how the “nurse brain” can be replaced with the EHR. Or can it?
Epic’s Brain in the 2018 upgrade is designed to be the nurse’s home activity. The Brain is organized in a timeline, so nurses can see upcoming tasks for their patients, such as orders, labs, medications, tasks, and required documentation. Each row begins with the patient demographic information, which is now referred to as the Patient Card.
What does that mean for nursing workflow? Rather than spending time filling out a piece of paper, nurses can save time at hand-off by logging into Epic and having the brain already configured.
The Brain will also be updated as orders are entered into the system. For a typical inpatient unit, the nurse would log into Epic, review the brain for upcoming tasks at hand-off and throughout the shift, and execute without delay.
When implementing or optimizing, here are a few things to consider:
Need help deciding which tasks to enable and require for clinicians? Wondering how you can start weaving the Brain into your workflows? Kris has ideas, so email her if you’d like to chat with her.
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