Building on the momentum of the integrated electronic health record (EHR) and revenue cycle system launched two years ago, UTHealth Houston leaders today announced a new center that will continue to fuel innovation in digital health care for its patients, health care professionals, and researchers.
“The UTHealth Houston Center for Digital Healthcare Innovation will take our successes and keep them moving forward,” said Martin J. Citardi, MD, vice dean for clinical technology and director of the new center. “This is an opportunity to bring everyone together in a way we haven’t before to meet the needs of our patients and the patients’ care teams.”
The center layers on the university’s foundational work to launch a single, integrated EHR powered by Epic in May 2021. Key accomplishments will include a comprehensive approach with stakeholders from clinics, hospitals, and multiple schools; information sharing and prioritization; professional development for faculty; and strategies driven by the tripartite mission of clinical care, research, and education.
“The center is an opportunity to get all our schools working together to innovate, to advance how we use our electronic health record system, and to increase user satisfaction,” said Babatope O. Fatuyi, MD, chief medical information officer and chair of the center’s steering committee. “There is rapid transformation in the world of digital health care. At the center, we’ll be improving the tools we have in Epic, and we will be creating new ones to improve medicine for tomorrow.”
The ultimate goal is to become the best EHR in Texas, leveraging the expertise of faculty across the university to break down barriers and seek novel, practical applications of clinical technology at UT Physicians, UTHealth Houston Harris County Psychiatric Center, the John S. Dunn Behavioral Sciences Center at UTHealth Houston, and other clinical units. In addition to McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, initial collaborations will be with McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston to fill in gaps in the Epic portfolio of solutions, and with UTHealth Houston School of Public Health to integrate population health data, create linkages between care delivery and community services, and more.
The center will be driven in part by members of a physician builder and informatics program who are certified by Epic and who dedicate a significant amount of their time to Epic-related projects. Projects will focus on charge capture, patient access, documentation improvement, user experience, and physician satisfaction, as well as a strategy that builds a digital front door for clinical operations.