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Patients Benefit as Tanner Electronic Health Record Expands to Include Independent Practices



More patients in west Georgia and east Alabama will benefit from Tanner’s 2019 investment in its Epic “one patient, one record” electronic health record (EHR) as independent physician practices are now invited to sign-on, too.

Through Community Connect, independent physicians can share Tanner’s Epic software for their own practice, improving operations in their clinics and care for their patients.

Epic, the No. 1 platform of its kind in the United States, allows for a single, comprehensive medical record that follows the patient from the clinic to the hospital bedside, operating suite, emergency department or wherever a patient seeks care within the Tanner system.

Tanner implemented the health record platform at all its nearly 40 Tanner Medical Group practice locations and five hospitals last year.

Now, independent medical practices can join the platform, ensuring seamless care between the practice and the health system.

Three practices — Primary Care of West Georgia, West Georgia Internal Medicine and Children’s Heart Specialists of Georgia — will go live on Tanner’s Epic platform this summer. Primary Care of West Georgia launches on June 22 and the other two practices are set to launch in August.

About 400 independent physicians with privileges at Tanner hospitals completed training on the Epic platform so they, too, could use the new system while providing inpatient care at Tanner hospitals. These providers currently use the new Epic-based system while at Tanner and another system in their own practices.

The move includes giving patients access to Tanner MyChart — the 24/7 secure patient portal that lets patients manage their healthcare information and routine tasks like requesting prescription results, checking lab results and paying bills online.

Each implementation will take about three months from preparation to Go-Live on the new system.

Other practices are reviewing the opportunity as well and will be able to sign on in the future.

For patients of the pilot practices, there will be some changes in routine processes when they visit or call their healthcare provider. Patients who have not already signed up for Tanner MyChart will be invited during their visit.

Tanner Chief Operating Officer Greg Schulenburg is optimistic about the number of independent physician practices that will join Community Connect and the positive experience for patients.

“The more healthcare providers who participate, the stronger and more complete the medical record and the better the care overall for all patients in our community,” said Schulenburg. “And the experience for patients will be more efficient and consistent, which builds comfort and confidence.”

A Tanner team is guiding the pilot practices through the transition to the new electronic health record, leveraging their own recent experience and perspectives to help bring these new practices on board with the training, preparation and technology needed to be successful.

Primary Care of West Georgia is a multi-specialty medical group encompassing primary care, pulmonary medicine and sleep medicine with four physicians: Joseph Jellicorse, MD; Hermogenes Pagsisihan, MD; Jeffrey Reid, MD, and Lindsey Roenigk, M.D. The practice is located at 100 Professional Place.

“Some of our providers were able to participate in Tanner’s successful implementation of Epic in the hospital last year. Based on that experience, we were clear that Epic is the best EHR for our multispecialty practice,” said Dr. Roenigk.

“Epic will allow us to work seamlessly with our Tanner colleagues and strengthen our longstanding relationship with Tanner. We are able to maintain our independence, including financial, scheduling and registration, but we have the power of state of the art software that would typically be unattainable for small practices. Epic allows us to easily share records with any Tanner provider, as well as providers at any other US hospital using Epic. In addition, the My Chart patient portal allows improved communication with patients and gives patients greater access to their medical records.”

According to Schulenburg, Tanner will continue to work with independent healthcare providers and facilities throughout the region to ensure the most comprehensive medical record possible for patients. Discussions are underway with other practices on how they can participate in Community Connect and implementations are expected to continue through 2022.

To learn more about the MyChart patient app, available through the Epic EHR, visit: https://www.tanner.org/patients-and-visitors/patient-services/mychart

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