Saint Francis to Go Live with Epic Implementation April 1

Hospital “defies the odds” with April Fool’s Day launch 

(Hartford, Conn. March 26, 2014) – Many memorable events in American history have occurred on April 1: In 1976, it was the day Steve Jobs formed Apple; in 1954, the US Air Force Academy was formed; and in 1938, the Baseball Hall of Fame opened in Cooperstown, NY.  But for Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, the day will long be remembered as the “Go Live” date for the Hospital’s state-of-the-art electronic medical records system.  

The deployment of EpiCare will occur at 2:00 a.m., April 1, across more than 3,000 workstations throughout the Hospital. The 18-month-long project has engaged more than 5,000 employees during the transition from a series of 34 disparate software programs to one unified, integrated system. The $120 million, multi-year project is the Hospital’s largest financial and administrative undertaking since construction of the 10-story John T. O’Connell Tower in 2011. 

In preparation for Go Live, medical records for 1.3 million patients and 10 million patient visits have been entered into the EpiCare system. A Command Center, comprised of more than 100 employees and 80 workstations, has been set up in the Hospital’s Gengras Building to serve as a help desk center dedicated solely to EpiCare issue management. 

Back in October, 2012, Saint Francis first partnered with Wisconsin-based Epic Systems Corporation to implement a single, streamlined electronic medical record system that integrates patient records, scheduling, billing, pharmacy, radiology and other ancillary systems in one cohesive information technology platform.  

A valuable component of the EpiCare system is the introduction of MyCare. Saint Francis patients will have access to their Hospital medical records, medications, diagnostic images and lab results through the Saint Francis website. By clicking on “My Care”, patients will be able to securely access available portions of their medical records. They also will have access to a wealth of health information resources across the web. Over time, more services will be offered such as the ability to message with a physician, schedule appointments and make online bill payments. Patients will receive a MyCare activation code upon discharge from the Hospital. 

Several other components of the implementation are designed for added patient use. For instance, Saint Francis’ patients will have the convenience of a touchscreen appointment check-in system at the Saint Francis/Mount Sinai Regional Cancer Center. The Epic Kiosk is an addition, not a replacement, to the current registration desk. The Kiosk provides patients the added privacy of checking-in for an appointment without sharing their personal information in the waiting area. The Kiosk also has the ability to accept payments from patients through a credit card swipe. 

“The implementation of EpiCare at Saint Francis is an historic, transforming moment in our delivery of healthcare,” states Christopher M. Dadlez, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We have truly moved into an age where patient records are no longer stored in manila files in different departments across the Hospital, all unable to be integrated and shared. Now, they are immediately accessible to patients and appropriate providers alike.” 

“EpiCare will facilitate the flow of patient information across the Hospital and beyond,” said Linda Shanley, Vice President/Chief Information Officer. “Electronic health records will give healthcare providers the ability to send and receive patient information through an information exchange which is linked to other hospitals, doctors and healthcare entities – all on a real-time basis.” 

EpiCare combines all medical, scheduling, registration and billing information in a single database. Paper records will become a thing of the past and the need for patients to repeat information to different caregivers will be eliminated. With the click of the mouse, clinicians can easily find and update patient information, track a health history, order and review tests and medications, and much more. 

“The efficiencies of EpiCare will allow for more immediate and seamless care of our patients. Each caregiver will have access to the same patient information, no matter where they are, in or outside the Hospital,” states Surendra Khera, Surendra P. Khera, M.D., MS-HQS, Vice President, Medical Affairs, Chief Medical Officer & Chief Quality Officer, Section Chief, Hospital Medicine, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. 

EpiCare complies with federal privacy guidelines (HIPAA) and protects personal health information much better than paper records. All electronic records are encrypted and are available only to authorized individuals who have a secure login and password. 

About Saint Francis Care 

Saint Francis Care is an integrated healthcare delivery system established by Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, an anchor institution in north central Connecticut since 1897.  Licensed for 617 beds and 65 bassinets, it is a major teaching hospital and the largest Catholic hospital in New England.  Other major entities of Saint Francis Care include The Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute, the Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut, the Saint Francis/Mount Sinai Regional Cancer Center, the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Center for Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research, and Saint Francis HealthCare Partners.  Johnson Memorial Medical Center, parent organization of Johnson Memorial Hospital, Evergreen Health Care Center, and Home and Community Health Services is also a Saint Francis Care Partner.  Saint Francis Care’s services are supported by a network of five major Access Centers and eight additional medical office centers sited throughout the region.  For more information, visit