Workflow Walkthroughs Showcase Epic from Patient Point of View

Timothy Crimmins, MD, and Vinay Shah review documents for the Epic Workflow Walkthrough.
Timothy Crimmins, MD, and Vinay Shah review documents for the Epic Workflow Walkthrough. 

This week brought our first look at Epic from the patient’s perspective. The EpicTogether Team held a Workflow Walkthrough on Tuesday, June 25, giving those in attendance a look at both ambulatory and inpatient workflows with the new electronic medical record.

Nearly 100 attendees saw the demonstration of the integrated processes designed by the CLGs—clinical leadership groups. These teams have worked for more than a year, bringing three different approaches to care and finding agreement on how it should look moving forward under the tripartite governance of ColumbiaDoctors, NewYork-Presbyterian, and Weill Cornell Medicine. 

“The idea was to showcase the Epic tools and workflows that will soon become part of our practices,” said Columbia Epic Project Co-Lead and Chief Medical Information Officer Timothy Crimmins, MD. “It’s a chance to learn the tools and ask ourselves ‘How can I use these in my practice?’” 

ColumbiaDoctors CEO Donna Lynne, DrPH, walks through Connect, Epic’s patient portal.
ColumbiaDoctors CEO Donna Lynne, DrPH, walks through Connect, Epic’s patient portal.

Leaders from throughout ColumbiaDoctors and NYP participated in the demonstration. ColumbiaDoctors Chief Executive Officer Donna Lynne, DrPH, played the role of the patient. She helped attendees understand a patient’s engagement with Connect, Epic’s patient portal that will replace Columbia’s Follow My Health. Connect will include information on each patient's inpatient and outpatient care and allow patients to update insurance information, review health history, and even check in online before an appointment. 

ColumbiaDoctors Chief Operating Officer and Columbia Epic Project Co-Lead Roe Long, RN, MBA, walked through workflow changes for staff. One new highlight in Epic is the ability for managers to run reports on the duration of each patient’s checkin.

With the transition from the current electronic medical records, providers will need to reconcile all information that a patient enters as well as the information flowing from the legacy electronic records. Clinicians will be prompted to complete this step when they are with their patients and using Epic for the first time after go-live.

Assistant Chief Medical Information Officer Rachel Lewis, MD, highlighted the improvements that Epic will provide with charting and After Visit Summaries.

“I love the flexibility we will have to add detailed instructions and even diagrams and photos to our Visit Summaries. Care is so much easier to explain to patients when you can provide a visual aid,” said Lewis.

EpicTogether leaders took a moment to reflect as well. Daniel Barchi, NYP Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, recapped that the last 12 months have focused on training and build out. He added that now we are deep in the testing phase and gearing up for training, which begins in October. 

“Epic is going to work,” said Barchi. “The question to answer now is how will we use it?”

Crimmins wrapped up the group demonstration before participants headed into breakout sessions. 

“It’s remarkable work that we have all done,” said Crimmins. “It’s exciting to see the planning and design transition into testing and training. It’s time to bear down so we achieve operational readiness.” 

A second Workflow Walkthrough will take place Thursday, June 27, and can be viewed via live stream at Thanks to the nearly additional 250 attendees who watched Tuesday’s Workflow Walkthrough online!