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Epic Refuel: Supercharging and Simplifying Your Software Through Standardization

For healthcare institutions that have been leveraging Epic’s capabilities for years or have undergone extensive software customizations, Epic Refuel is strategically designed to deliver benefits by realigning the EHR with Epic’s out-of-the-box Foundation System tools. In fact, healthcare organizations that have successfully used Epic for numerous years or have ventured into substantial customizations often benefit the most from a Refuel because they are most likely to have deviated from the Epic Foundation System the most.

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Epic Refuel Overview

When an Epic application if first implemented, it came with the best functionalities of that time. Because Epic Systems continually innovates, the build recommendations evolve fairly quickly. So, when you implement an Epic Refuel initiative, you’re realigning your electronic health records (EHR) with Epic’s Foundation System: the best practices template and tools provided out of the box to organizations when implementing the software.

Benefits of Refuel projects include the following:

  • Bringing the application to cutting-edge operational performance
  • Enhancing IT functionality and, therefore, efficiency
  • Streaming future upgrades and other updates
  • Supporting more advanced data analytics
  • Improving the system’s ability to manage outcomes and communicate them well

Although, in concept, Refuel is logical and straightforward, undertaking it takes planning and can involve navigating complexities as the project is successfully completed within budget and scope.

Epic Refuel Project Phases

Like other EHR-related projects, Refueling starts with a system assessment and analysis stage in conjunction with Epic Systems that’s followed up by strategically creating a plan for your specific healthcare organization. Throughout this part of the process, you’ll determine where standard operating procedures are sufficient and where workarounds may be needed. Your IT team can play a key role in objectively looking at data while end users can contribute crucial information about their experiences.

After collecting and assessing this information, priorities can be identified and timelines created, including but not limited to which locations, departments, and teams may be ready to go live more quickly and which may take more planning with a strong focus on governance from start to finish. It’s also important to develop KPIs that can be effectively measured and compared (pre-Refuel to post-Refuel). These can focus on efficiency, cost-effectiveness, the relevance of certain EHR functions, and so forth.

Epic Refuel implementations can then be tailored to your healthcare organization’s specific situation, involving the migration of the most current versions of the application as the system becomes more standardized and holistic again.

Professional Epic Consultants for Your Epic Refuel

Although the purpose of Epic Refuel can be clearly and concisely stated, the actual project can be quite complex, particularly if you’ve been on the Epic System for a while or your system has been intricately customized. Because the ongoing job functions of your in-house IT team will not lessen, it’s typical to need strong support, operationally and technically, to optimally complete your Epic Refuel project.

HealthTECH Resources can provide your healthcare organization with niche Epic consulting specialists who can help throughout the project: from assessing and planning to implementing, training, ensuring cybersecurity, and more. Professionals from our deep and wide network can help you to accomplish this implementation while you continue to provide world-class healthcare services. To get started, simply reach out to us online or call (602) 903-7961 today.

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Epic Refuel FAQs

What is the concept behind an Epic Refuel project?

When a healthcare organization first implements Epic, it’s the closest to having out-of-the-box functionalities that it ever will—and, over the years, the application is probably tailored in additional ways that take it further away from Epic’s Foundation System. Epic Refuel, then, provides your healthcare organization with a reset back to the best practices of the system while ensuring that you’ll have the most modern version of the application.

What are the key phases involved in an Epic Refuel project?

Initially, an assessment and careful analysis will allow you to compare your current system with the Epic Refuel possibilities. Then, the Refuel implementation will take careful planning before the actual Refuel application’s migration takes place. Just like with any other Epic implementation, the process may be complex and require professional project management, KPI development and measurement, end-user training, and so forth. Although the plan is to dovetail the software with the optimal standardized version, some workarounds may be needed.

How does Epic Refuel aim to improve EHR efficiency?

Epic Refuel efficiently streamlines operational usage by realigning the application to the ultra-efficient Foundation System tools and makes it much easier to update and upgrade—thereby boosting efficiency for your IT team. To maximize the efficiency and other benefits of Refuel, it’s crucial to optimize the implementation process—and the experts in the HealthTECH Resources’ professional network are ready to help.

Who typically undertakes a Refuel project?

In general, healthcare organizations that benefit the most from an Epic Refuel have been using the Epic System for several years along with those that have intricately customized it or needed to create complex workarounds—including but not limited to healthcare organizations that have experienced mergers and acquisitions. If you’re wondering if your facilities can benefit, contact us online or call us at (602) 903-7961 to discuss your specific situation.

What are some potential challenges or complexities that organizations should be aware of when planning a Refuel project?

Although Epic applications that have successfully been Refueled benefit from streamlined operations, the process of planning and implementing Epic Refuel can be complex. The longer you’ve used Epic at your healthcare organization and the more you’ve customized your application, the more challenges you may face during each of the crucial steps of your Epic Refuel project. Leveraging the expertise of Epic consultants within our professional network can greatly assist in streamlining the process and successfully Refueling.

How can Epic Refuel projects be supplemented with an Epic consultant?

Epic consultants from our network can expertly fill in staffing gaps from start to finish: project management, assessing the current system and comparing it to the Epic Refuel application, creating timelines complete with all necessary tasks, identifying and addressing pitfalls, implementing the Refuel, training end users, and more.