– Epic Systems has announced 100 COVID-19 vaccination sites across the country have implemented its EHR software, resulting in roughly 500,000 daily vaccinations across traditional clinical settings and mass vaccination sites.
Epic’s EHR software provides its customers with patient outreach tools to reach priority populations, patient scheduling, mobile workflows, and real-time reporting to public health authorities.
“We are proud to help the health systems supporting the national goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the Administration’s first 100 days,” Judy Faulkner, founder and CEO of Epic, said in a statement. “Doing what often takes months, health systems have moved in a matter of days and weeks to set up locations with the technology needed to conduct mass vaccinations.”
Since January 21, when President Biden released his COVID-19 vaccination strategy, 56 mass vaccination sites leveraged Epic EHR. At that time, Biden called for “as many venues as needed for people to be vaccinated.”
Epic’s goal was to help set up 100 vaccination sites by the end of February. The vendor hit the 100-site goal in less than a month and its next goal is to add another 100 sites over the next 30 days, Epic said.
The vendor’s increased interoperability allows each health system or vaccination facility to share patient information with both Epic facilities and other providers that do not run Epic EHR software. Facilities can also exchange patient data with state public health departments, which then can communicate that data with the CDC.
Novant Health in North Carolina, UCHealth in Colorado, and Cooper University Health Care in New Jersey all tapped Epic EHR for its vaccination sites.
- Novant Health is utilizing Epic’s patient portal, MyChart, to schedule vaccinations at its hospitals, mass vaccination sites, and community pop-up events. To date, the health system has administered over 63,000 vaccines.
- UCHealth is conducting a mass vaccination site at its local Major League Baseball stadium, Coors Field, where it is leveraging Epic’s mobile app for providers. The health system is also utilizing Epic’s patient portal to schedule vaccinations. UCHealth has administered over 120,000 vaccine doses.
- Cooper and Jefferson Health launched the Camden County Vaccination Center at Camden County College. The two health systems are using Epic’s patient portal to register patients for appointments.
These vaccination sites have the ability to deploy over 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations per day.
With interoperability being critical to COVID-19 vaccine deployment, several health IT vendors, organizations, and stakeholders, including Epic and Cerner, formed the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI). This initiative aims to give individuals digital access to their COVID-19 vaccination records.
The VCI is made up of the CARIN Alliance, Cerner, Change Healthcare, The Commons Project Foundation, Epic Systems, Evernorth, Mayo Clinic, Microsoft, MITRE, Oracle, Safe Health, and Salesforce.
The group developed a standard model for health organizations administering the COVID-19 vaccine. The effort is designed to make the results available to individuals in an interoperable and accessible digital format.
The current digitized vaccination record system does not streamline the control and distribution of, or access to vaccination records.
To achieve this goal of digitalization, VCI members are utilizing open, interoperable SMART Health Cards specification, based on W3C Verifiable Credential and HL7 FHIR standards, the coalition explained. The goal is to store this patient immunization data in digital wallets.
The coalition is working together to develop a safe and secure way for individuals to access their COVID-19 vaccination records. Digitalizing these documents can enhance patient matching and expedite the time it will take for individuals to return to work, school, traveling, and extracurricular activities.